AV8RS Newsletter - December 2012

December 2012

Quick Links

Crazy New Developments

Monthly Poll

Tails of Awesome

Member Profile

USA-loft

Test You Knowledge

Other Cool Stuff

Helpful Homework Links

Crazy New Developments

One out-of-this-world hamburger

Story PhotoFive Harvard University students launched the hamburger into space on Oct. 27, and their YouTube video of the feat has gone viral. The hamburger reached nearly 100,000 feet before the balloon that was taking it upward popped and sent the sandwich plummeting back down to Earth.

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Monthly Poll

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Tails of Awesome

Just one birthday, but three solos in three aircraft

Story PhotoDrew Gryder knew you had to be 16 to solo an airplane. And he figured that happened a stroke after midnight.

So he sat strapped in his single-engine Cessna 150, positioned on the centerline of a 3,700-foot runway, as he waited for the clock to strike 12. Waiting with him to his right and left were two more Cessna planes, piloted by his father and flight instructor, Dan Gryder, and friend, Scotty Collins.

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Baumgartner freefalls into record books

Story PhotoWhat would you be thinking as you stood on the edge of a pressurized capsule, pulled 24 miles high by a 40-acre helium-filled balloon, ready to jump back to Earth?

Felix Baumgartner said he wasn’t thinking about breaking records or gaining scientific data. “The only thing you want is to come back alive because you do not want to die in front of your parents, your girlfriend and all the people watching this,” he said after his Oct. 14 jump.

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USA-loft

SpaceX completes first cargo delivery to space station

Story PhotoYou can tame wild horses or even feral cats. But astronauts living on the International Space Station have one up on you.

Expedition 33 crew members grappled a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and attached it to the orbiting space station on Oct. 8, causing Commander Sunita Williams to remark, "Looks like we’ve tamed the Dragon."

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Curiosity finding 'good dirt' on Red Planet's evolution

Story PhotoNASA’s Curiosity rover is literally digging up dirt and finding information that is helping to unlock mysteries of the Red Planet.

Since arriving on Mars in August 2012, the car-sized rover has taken significant steps toward understanding how Mars may have lost much of its original atmosphere. (The present atmosphere of Mars is 100 times thinner than Earth’s.) Learning what happened to the Martian atmosphere will help scientists determine whether the planet ever was habitable.

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R U a Writer?

As an AOPA AV8R, we know you’re passionate about aviation. But are you also an enthusiastic writer? Volunteer as a guest contributor to the AOPA AV8RS e-newsletter. Let us know you’re interested by sending a writing sample to av8rs@aopa.org and place "Writer - Attn: Lauren" in the headline. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Other Cool Stuff

Nflightcam makes it possible to share your solo flight with the world

Story PhotoYou need more than a T-shirt with the back cut off to show the world that you completed your solo flight. At least that’s the premise behind NFlightcam.

The company customizes high-definition Contour video cameras for aviation use, and it launched a program that allows student pilots to record their initial solo flights free on Nflightcam.

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Test Your Knowledge

Pluto had been known as the smallest planet in our solar system. What is it considered now? Why?

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Who is Yuri Gagarin and why is a party held annually to remember him?

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These women were the first in America’s history to fly military aircraft. What acronym does the distinguished group go by?

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Helpful Homework Links

NASA’s SkyWatch website lets you know when a spacecraft will be flying over you. The NASA "applet" uses up-to-the-minute data from Mission Control to project the path the spacecraft will make across the sky.

NASA’s interactive website has features on rocket science, spacesuits, green living, the Orion research aircraft and more.

The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s America by Air website includes activities, stories, news and more from the early years of aviation to the jet age.

This PBS/NOVA website answers what the earth sounds like when radiation from the Van Allen belts is converted into sound waves.

If you’re pursing an education in aviation, you'll want to check out the FAA’s list of available scholarships and grants.

If you have a homework assignment concerning Mars, this is the place to start. Contains quick facts, why Mars is an extreme planet, pop culture about the Red Planet, and much more.

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association 421 Aviation Way • Frederick, MD 21701-4708 • (800) 872-2672 • www.aopa.org

Questions? Comments? Send them to AV8RS@aopa.org.

Contributing Writer: Barbara A. Schmitz