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DIASA Update - Been a while

Posted 11-10-2012 at 08:45 AM by Nazban

Hey all, so its been a reeaaaalllly loooong time since I made an update here. Time is flying by since I started IB and I've been studying/doing projects non stop, for almost a month I kept saying that I would have to post an update on the (sort of) VSA I created in my school which is centred around Spaceflight (Orbiter obviously) and the Mars Student Imaging Project.

So almost a year ago, after a lot of lessons learnt and lots of failed dreams and ideas, I thought of why many VSA's had failed, one of the biggest reasons is time zone differences and the ability to work together online. So I made a 'VSA' in my school as a club (called DIASA-DIA being the school initials and SA-Space Administration) where students come to learn about spaceflight and even have missions.
I am glad to say that the DIASA was a success and in my one year of working with students interested in spaceflight in my school, I can say that I actually learned a lot of stuff myself! When students come to you and ask questions, my fear of being wrong was so high that I began to make sure that I could properly answer everyone's doubts
In our research division, we basically had a time when students would talk about the interesting news and latest discoveries in space science. While there is not much to talk about for that, it was still great seeing students interested in what I thought many people didn't care about much.

Sadly, due to my mocks and then final exams coming up, I have decided to quit the DIASA, and was even more glad to see that some students came up to me to hand over the full organisation and monitoring of the DIASA to them (which I did).
In the end I realised something important, if you realise you are doing all the work for something where you want other people involved (VSA as an example), it will never work out! You need other people to support you! It not only helps that you have lesser work, but it lets you know that whatever you do not only helps you, but helps others, and that they appreciate it is something really magnificent!
So good luck to the new heads of the DIASA! (who I don't think would even read this since they aren't members in the OF )
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  1. Old Comment
    Face's Avatar
    So what you did was converting your VSA into a private VSA, right? This is another example of how public VSAs do not work IMHO. I'm now so bold to link to my rambling about it.

    Do you have some links to your private VSA, maybe? A list of successful missions and how you organized it? It could help others trying to do the same with their local space "club".
    Posted 11-10-2012 at 10:20 AM by Face Face is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Samuel Edwards's Avatar

    You are gonna want a Private VSA. Or a very close knit bunch of friends to fly the missions with you.

    Personally, I'd go with a totally private VSA. It has worked for HASSESA, it can work for you too.

    Posted 11-10-2012 at 02:44 PM by Samuel Edwards Samuel Edwards is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Nazban's Avatar
    Sorry Face, nothing saved online. Most of the work was actually done on Paper.
    For the first 4 months, the main problem I had was that there was no one with experience in Orbiter! So every session we had in school what I did was for the first 30 mins, I would show them something on the projector (starting from simple stuff like take-off into a specific orbit, orbital manoeuvres to docking and reentry)
    Sadly due to the time constraint, I wasn't able to teach many of the students interplanetary travel

    So finally when I saw that many students were capable of missions that require takeoff, docking, reentry. I started the proper missions. To be honest it wasn't run as a VSA in terms of building space stations like the OFSS series. What I wanted to do is show students how missions were run. We had designated people for 3 divisions. 2 people as Cmdr/Pilot, 2 researches and 3 Mission control.
    Cmdr/Pilot: Each person would participate in flying on the missions. Typically there would be a 50/50 split in time for who controls the spacecraft (though there were many missions where we had just 1 Cmdr) I also had made fake anomalous situations where the Cmdr has to decide what is to be done (imagine an asteroid that has a probability of being on a collision course with your current orbit) sometimes even real situations where I would tell them that there is a ship in distress, you have 'x' amount of time to reach them (I set up a DGIV ship with low oxygen levels).
    Mission Control: Basically we had a Flight Director, CAPCOM and PAO. Each one simulated their respective roles that a real life person in that position would be in (the PAO usually explained to other students or me what was going on with the mission right now)
    Researchers: Linking to the research division and EVA's. EVA's such as taking out payloads and 'fixing' damaged hull. Also depending on what region of space the spacecraft was facing. Students would have that area of space open on google sky and students could identify what they are seeing (rarely identified in names, more of a classification).

    I could possibly create a list of successfull missions that we have done. But I was actually surprised how easy organisation was, when I told the students about how missions were going to work they practically divided themselves up in a matter of minutes, and all they had to do was sign up for a date that they could do the mission (we kept running weekly, so 1 week a group goes up for a mission)

    And I just saw that thread that you posted a link on, some really really true stuff in there but honestly speaking when I first thought of a VSA, I found the concept amazing even though my experience was horrible with it (and if I try to make something like the VOSSA, it will still be crap )
    Posted 11-10-2012 at 05:44 PM by Nazban Nazban is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Samuel Edwards's Avatar
    Brilliant work there. Teaching people. We need more people like you.
    Posted 11-10-2012 at 06:40 PM by Samuel Edwards Samuel Edwards is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Face's Avatar
    I see. While it may be unfortunate that there is no "paper trail" of your experience, your description of the events is nevertheless interesting. Thanks!

    As for my blog entry... did you read the following one on "challenges", too? I'm asking because your description sounds more like a challenges list than a VSA mission set. I'd even go so far as to classify your experience - as a whole - as a real-world projection of the challenges model. Therefore I'm not surprised if you had a fun time there.

    Keep it up!
    Posted 11-10-2012 at 07:14 PM by Face Face is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Nazban's Avatar
    Thanks Samuel ^^
    And yes, it is nearly exactly like what you described in your blog on Orbiter challenges!
    The main inspiration I got to make something like that was actually from Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama when I went on a school trip with my old school. Their main focus was to simulate to us how a mission works, while simultaneously having fun! So all I actually had to do was recreate that idea in a school environment. While we don't have flashy walls, or a flypit, I still managed to show them how everything works, and they got to actually be a part of it!
    (Also I remember a class I had in Space academy where they talked about hygiene and living in space, I had to tell my students about the fact that whenever you go to the toilet, you have a camera down there to guide you! Not many people liked that.....)
    Posted 11-11-2012 at 03:31 AM by Nazban Nazban is offline

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