NASA Wallops Flight Facility Trip Report: Cameron Wade


I left from Fort Wayne International Airport for my first airplane ride. I looked out the window the whole way to Chicago. I could see the parts on the wing move. When we get to Virginia, we go to see the ocean. I have never seen the ocean before, but I liked it a lot. The waves pulled me in and out. I ran from the waves and played in the sand. It was great.

Our first day at Wallops Flight Facility had so much for us to do. We saw the high school kids' Sub-SEM experiments. They were very hard and had lots of parts. Our experiment was already in the nose cone of the rocket. We toured the shop where they make the sounding rockets. There were lots of machines. We went back to lab and blew up big balloons to find out how they fly when you let out the air. We added streamers to see if there was a difference, and there was. We had balloon races in the clean room. I got to keep my booties to show my family. Then we built our model rockets. We put in streams instead of the parachute. Then we went back to our hotel. We walked down to the miniature golf course. I told everyone I knew how to play, but I didn't. The eighth graders from Key Pennisula helped me learn how to play. I still hit the golf ball very hard.

The next day, we went to the Wallops Flight Facility. We had a pre-mission briefing. There are lots of people who make sure the rocket goes up. Later we flew our model rockets. I had a payload of 4 dimes in my nosecone. My rocket didn't go as high as some other ones did. All my dimes fell out in the ball field, so I didn't get to keep them. We could see how the different payloads made the rockets go different amounts. My rocket still flew pretty high. It was fun to launch them. We practiced our presentation that night. We needed to look and sound good because we were representing our class and our school.

At Wallops, we found out that the sounding rocket should launch on Thursday morning. The weather was not good enough on Wednesday morning. We went to the lab to practice our presentations in the morning. There were more people than in our hotel room. Then we made kites. We got to decorate them. We also went to Wallops Island to have our picture taken with the rocket. It looked like it would shoot through the shed, but they stood it up before the launch. In the afternoon, we gave our presentations. The people asked a couple of questions, then we were done. Everyone gave their presentation. There were many interesting experiments.

On Thursday, Mrs. Ghaffarian got us up at 4 in the morning. I was still tired. There were lots of bugs on Wallops Island. I sat in the bus to wait for the launch. The launch was great, but it was very fast. There were two testing rockets, then a Super Loki. It was worth getting up so early. We got our experiments back. I got to help bring the boxes back to the lab. Our bolts came apart. How do they hold the space station together? We want to try putting the bolts together another way to see if that will make them stay together better. Maybe we can send up that experiment next year. We went back to the beach. I let the water go over my head. I love the ocean. Maybe I will live here someday.

We flew back home. I got to sit by the window. I watched the ground the whole way. I could have stayed a little longer, but Mrs. Ghaffarian said we weren't her kids, and she couldn't keep us extra.

I want to thank everyone who helped me go on this trip. I am going to study hard, do all my work, and get help when I need it. I want to do this when I am an adult.

Cameron Wade
Franke Park Elementary
Multiage Classroom

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