Nineteen 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 Lunar Voyage to be launched into virtual orbit at the Columbus Magnet School on Thursday, May 1, 2003.
To simulate Space Shuttle conditions, the eight Crew members: George Kosmidis, Colin Walters, Nicole Brancaccio, Kevin Cawley, Haley Knies, Kuba Nowicki, Sandra Pons and Jordan Ulman 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 wired for communications with Mission Control and the outside world. Their mission will take them first to the International Space Station and then on to the Moon, where they will leave behind materials to build the first human colony on the Moon.
A team of eleven Mission Control officers: Ellie Werner, Matt Rossetti, Joseph Williams, Lara Lefkowitch, Victoria Lea, Alex Muniz, Calyx Garcia, Sophia Aravidis, Nidhi Pandya, Liana Meir and Jonathan Tabora will be hard at work on the ground to ensure that all operations run smoothly. Mission Control and the Flight Crew train together from September until May, to prepare for this important 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.”
The 2003 Lunar Voyage Mission is guided by a group of dedicated parent volunteers, who meet weekly with the entire crew. The original mission was developed by Arthur J. Perschino, former principal of the Columbus Magnet School and founder of the school’s nationally renowned Young Astronauts chapter. Lunar Voyage is the eighth mission at Columbus School, and the second to explore the Moon.