On our tour, we’re starting in the 3D printing makerspace area at Langley. This is an area where the latest in technology for 3D printing is being done. Whether it’s a moving part, or a replica of a large piece for a spacecraft, this area can serve as a place for those items to be created. One thing that you need to see is this mock propellor. This design where the prop blades fold up and then go down is going to be used on NASA’s X-57 aircraft. A place not powered by jet fuel, but by batteries. That aircraft is set to begin testing in the next few years.
Our next spot was fun for the NASA Social Group. We stopped at building 1208 for a Virtual Reality Demo. In this demo, we are inside a spacecraft orbiting Mars and seeing what it’s like to be in microgravity and how the small or large the space inside feels. According to the team behind this, they have been gradually working on this for the past year and a half.
After that, it was lunch time, sorry I didn’t record any of that. I was hungry, but I did record the gift shop! You may have seen the Solar system mug I got, there was a bunch of other cool swag in there too. After the gift show we also watch Jim Bridenstien give us an update on the State of NASA for the years ahead, if you love astronomy like I do, the times are going to be getting exciting.
This is the XV System Simulator. This is where you can use a lander to land on the moon. For some of us, it didn’t work out so well, but for others we landed it like we’ve been flying for years.
Finally, if you are into drones, check this out. These two drones are flying and navigating this ropes course autonomously this next demo is showing a larger drone that has a programmed destination, however if it encounters a person or an obstacle, then it will stop and wait, or go around if it can. The research being done here is going to allow scientists to venture into dangerous places, and even people like emergency managers search for someone lost in the woods.
Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson