WorldView-3 Colorado Launch Watch Party Activities Reach All Ages
When Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services launched the WorldView-3 commercial remote sensing spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, August 13, it constituted a big boost for space-based commercial global imaging data.
One thousand miles away, in Denver, there was a boost of energy, too.
The launch also created a unique distance “Launch and Learn” opportunity for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. Lockheed Martin employee volunteers joined staff from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and other Colorado-based aerospace companies to host a launch-viewing event bringing the excitement of the Colorado-built satellite launch to Colorado space enthusiasts of all ages.
The activity highlighted Lockheed Martin’s commercial launch business and was coordinated in partnership with Lockheed Martin’s launch customer, DigitalGlobe, a global provider of commercial, high-resolution, Earth imagery products and services
Lockheed Martin Volunteers get a little “fizzy”!
As part of the launch day activities, Lockheed Martin Space System Company employees Eli Gonzalez, Zachary Grunder, Terence Binotto, Justin Mortara and Christopher Roche took time out of their busy schedules to help hundreds of future scientists and engineers build and launch their very own Alka-Seltzer powered Rockets. Gonzalez helped organize the team of employee volunteers and also helps support this event each year during Space Day. When asked why he volunteer’s Gonzalez shared, “I volunteer because it is an opportunity to have a positive impact on someone’s future. Most times you will never see the true impact first hand, but the thought of inspiring a person to go to college and maybe even become a scientist or an engineer is one reason why I volunteer.”
In addition to the hands-on STEM activities, museum attendees had the opportunity to listen in on a standing-room-only pre-launch panel discussion featuring Dave Markham, Space Systems Company vice president of Advanced Programs, as well as representatives from Digital Globe, Ball Aerospace, Exelis and United Launch Alliance, the other four companies involved with the launch.
The panelists shared information about their respective company’s role in the WorldView-3 mission and discussed how they came to work in the aerospace industry.
And then it was time for launch. The crowd and overflow viewing area chanted down the time-clock in unison…five, four, three, two, one...lift off! Cheers erupted from the crowd.
The museum estimates that more than 600 visitors were able to watch the launch via live-stream on the museum’s auditorium and Space Odyssey screens.
“Holding the launch viewing activity at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science represented a tremendous opportunity to share with the public not only the capabilities of the WorldView-3 satellite, but it was also an opportunity for us to highlight the importance of space technologies in everyday life,” said Jim Crocker, vice president and general manager of the Civil Space line of business with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and a member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “By partnering with the Museum and offering hands-on educational activities for children and students, we get people of all ages, especially young people, excited about the future of space exploration, and that’s what this is all about.”
Lockheed Martin- Denver Museum of Nature and Science Partnership
The WorldView-3 “Launch and Learn” event is just one of many activities that Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company has supported locally with the museum throughout a 27-year partnership. Lockheed Martin provides substantial support for the Museum’s STEM education efforts, and company employees volunteer and make financial donations to the museum.
One prominent example of that partnership is the museum’s popular Space Odyssey exhibit, initially sponsored by Lockheed Martin. Over the past ten years, Lockheed Martin employees have volunteered more than 33,000 hours supporting the exhibit, contributing approximately 3,600 volunteer hours each year.
Space Systems Company also collaborated with the museum to produce four Scientists in Action distance learning programs reaching thousands of students regionally and nationwide. Through satellite and web-feeds, students “visit” Lockheed Martin’s clean room or a launch site and learn first hand about space exploration missions including the space shuttle servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope, Juno spacecraft assembly, the Mars Science Laboratory and the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft mission to Mars.
Lockheed Martin is also a supporter of the Museum’s Youth and Teacher Initiative (YTI). The program is geared to inspire the next generation of scientists by reaching hundreds of thousands of students locally and nationally each year with both school and museum-based science education programming.
Grant support from Lockheed Martin will specifically allow for multiple museum experiences such as tours, classes and labs with integrated math and science content for students and provide STEM focused teacher professional development opportunities for teachers.
“We are very proud of our 27-year partnership with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science,” said Crocker. “Giving back to our local communities is important. It is who we are as a company. It is part of our culture.”
August 29, 2014