Twenty-seven Columbus Magnet School fifth-grade students all members of the Columbus chapter of the Young Astronauts, have completed seven months of intensive preparation for a 24-hour simulated space shuttle mission. All systems are go for Space Odyssey to be launched into virtual orbit at the Columbus Magnet School on Thursday, May 3, 2001.
To simulate Space Shuttle conditions, the seven Crew members – Nick Carroll; Cody Greene; Brandon Holman; Kelsey Knies; Chelsea Murphy; Cat Rivera and Kim Tom – will spend the entire 24-hour mission inside a small room equipped with computers, scientific apparatus, food, sleeping mats and a sanitary facility. The room is being wired for communications with Mission Control and the outside world. Their mission will take them to visit the resident astronauts and first space tourist aboard the International Space Station.
The Flight Crew will be supported by four ground-based Mission Control officers – Rabi Alam; Peter Camacho; Joel Tenser; and Zach Pearce. Additionally, sixteen support crew members have assisted with all preprations for the mission and are crucial to the smooth operation of the mission.
Marilyn Liberatore, Columbus Magnet School principal, strongly endorses this Young Astronauts project. “It engages our students in activities which will give them an awareness of and perhaps a course for their future in science, space and technology.”
Guiding the 2001 Space Odyssey Mission is Arthur J. Perschino, former principal of the Columbus Magnet School, founder and leader of the school’s nationally renowned chapter of Young Astronauts. He is assisted in this enormous undertaking by a dedicated group of parent volunteers.