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Saturday, Mar. 28, 2015

JTSE signatures blast off into space

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Many children dream of being an astronaut, and NASA as well as Lockheed Martin are trying to help make some small part of that dream come true.

The students from Jackson Township Elementary are living part of that dream, as their signatures are currently orbiting the earth.

Students signed the Space Day poster last May, the signatures were then downloaded onto a disc, which was on Space Shuttle Endeavour when it launched from Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 14.

"The students were very excited last May to sign the poster," third-grade teacher Maggie Morlan told The Brazil Times. "They have been equally enthused to hear the daily reports on the Shuttle Endeavor and International Space Station progress."

The poster signing was only part of the space day activities that took place at the school.

The students also watched a previous shuttle launch and participated in activities such as making paper airplanes and measuring their flight distance.

"They also made rockets from tagboard and straws to determine if they were aerodynamically suited," Morlan added. "Some of the students dressed in bulky, multi-layered clothing to simulate the cumbersomeness of an astronaut's spacesuit."

The signatures of the JTE students as well as the signatures of more than 500,000 other students from around the world were on board.

The Endeavour crew is currently delivering supplies to the International Space Station, in an attempt to expand the Station's living areas and increasing the duration numbers from three to six astronauts.

The crew will be taking four spacewalks to make repairs and maintenance work on the Station's Solar Alpha Rotary Joints (SARJs).

According to a press release, more than 5.25 million students have participated in the Space programs student signatures.

The NASA website provides lesson plans with a stress on math and science skills that teachers can choose from, with the signatures in space, teachers are noticing the inspiration in the students.

"The students really enjoy knowing that their signatures are in space," second-grade teacher Kitty Pettit told The Brazil Times. "It really helps to inspire them to work towards possibly becoming an astronaut."

Morlan was also pleased with the positive affect the program is having on the student body.

"The daily school-wide announcements emphasize hard work and team spirit for the future space travelers among us," Morlan said.

At the end of the mission the signed poster will be returned to the school for permanent display with an official NASA flight certification that verifies the signatures flew in space as well as a picture of the crew that flew with the signatures.



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