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Rendezvous with Comet Halley
Photos & Article

Space Lab to Mission Control, "We have a Life Support EMERGENCY"

Space Lab to Mission Control, "We have found the Comet!"

"There is Hydrogen in the 'tail' and 'coma' of the comet"

I love being the Communications Specialists for 'Team B'

Mission Control to Space Lab, "You are all clear for lift off"

Mission Control to Space Lab, "You are under a meteor shower."

Mission Control to Space Lab, "The Oxygen levels are very contaminated... change the filter NOW"

Let's launch these pop-rockets!

It is time to add the fuel!

This is the winning patch that represented the SVPA Comet Mission!

This is the second place drawing.

This is the drawing that placed 3rd!

Houston We’re Coming Home!

By Brant Young

On Oct. 24, 2003 the Sequatchie Valley Preparatory Academy (SVPA) took a field trip that they will never forget! SVPA went to the UTC Challenger Space Center. Their mission was to Rendezvous with Comet Halley and launch a probe into its nucleus and gather scientific information about the structure of the Comet.

Through the utilization of the incredible facilities of the Challenger Center, the students were able to perform like real astronauts on an actual Space Mission! Not only did the students of SVPA complete their mission with pinpointed precision accuracy, but they even solved life threatening problems aboard the space lab. Critical emergencies such as life support, meteor showers and navigation dilemmas arose throughout the mission. The student astronauts through their assistance from mission control, also captured gases from the tail and the coma of the comet, so that they could determine the various gasses that are contained inside Comet Haley.

By participating in this hands on space simulation the students were able to learn so much more than they would have sitting at a desk in a classroom. Students prepared prior to the mission in a variety of ways. Some students took a trip to the Sunrise Planetarium in Georgia where they were guided through an in depth study of our solar system and the origin of our universe. Students studied the evolutionary theory (backed by Charles Darwin and other men) versus the creation theory of the universe (backed by God and the Bible). Students learned that there are many scientists who believe that the scientific evidence of the universe clearly depicts the historical accuracy of the biblical account of creation and not the theory of evolution. Students also attended a detailed comet presentation at UTC presented by one of the SVPA high school students. Other students took the initiative to do extensive research on the NASA web site regarding the two major comet missions that are currently underway at NASA. Some students were even able to have their name put on a CD that will be aboard the Probe that will be launched in January to begin its journey to Comet Wild 2!

Students were thrilled to finally put all of their academic knowledge to good practical use …especially their math and science skills…in such an exciting environment. The UTC Challenger Center staff was exceptional in their knowledge of the mission project, their teaching skills and their patience in letting students solve their own problems during the mission. Students loved the opportunity to experience both the ‘mission control’ aspect as well as the ‘space lab’ experience of our NASA Astronauts. SVPA plans to attend the ‘Encounter Earth Mission’ next year and highly recommends the Challenger Center Space Programs to all students who want to take their education ‘out of this world’!



Like all NASA space mission teams the SVPA student space mission team was able to create their own mission patch for their comet mission. Three students, Laura and Andreas Montgomery and Jonathan Lou Allen took on the creative challenge of designing the patch. After the patches were created the students voted on the patch of their choice to represent the mission. All of the patches were very creative! The patch that was selected to represent the mission was designed by Laura Montgomery and was displayed on the mission control room. Congratulations Laura and thanks to all three of you for designing a Space Mission Patch


Communications Specialist: Tiffany Wilson

Data Specialist: Taylor Bryant & Courtney Bennett

Navigation Specialist: Josh Murty & Bob Burns

Probe Builders: Joe Burns & Colton Long

Remote Specialist: Tanner Bryant & Hannah Rogers

Life Support Specialist: Chris Miller & Brant Young

Isolation Specialist: Meghan Shelton & Mary Burns

Medical Specialist: Tabetha Rogers & Whitney Wilson



Communications Specialist: Patrick Ezell

Data Specialist: Nate Kinard & Adam Ryan

Navigation Specialist: Michael Zeiser & Laura Thatcher

Probe Builders: Jonathan Lou Allen & Jonathan Wingo

Remote Specialist: Erika Ellis & Nathan Schmidt

Life Support Specialist: Jay Kinard & Taylor Shipley

Isolation Specialist: Andreas Montgomery & Jeremiah Schmidt

Medical Specialist: Laura Montgomery & Karen Overran