13th Annual Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition Dedicated to Astronaut Alan Bean
The RFTS ~ National Rocket Competition is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) educational challenge.
By: Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition
Commander Bean will forever be remembered as the artist who walked on the Moon. He was the fourth of only twelve men that have ever stepped foot on the lunar surface – and the only artist. His time at NASA sent him to space on the Space Shuttle and Skylab as well.
He was highly respected by his fellow Astronauts. "His enthusiasm about space and art never waned. Alan Bean is one of the great renaissance men of his generation — engineer, fighter pilot, astronaut and artist," Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 lunar module pilot. "Alan Bean was the most extraordinary person I ever met," said Astronaut Mike Massimino. "He was a one of a kind combination of technical achievement as an astronaut and artistic achievement as a painter."
In his own words, "I was the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 12 and the fourth man to set foot on the moon… Over the years, my art has evolved into a mixture of painting and sculpture, textured with my lunar tools, sprinkled with bits of our Apollo 12 spacecraft and a touch of moondust from the Ocean of Storms." "I painted this astronaut, this "star sailor", to represent the best in each of us, what we can accomplish, who we can be, if we will create the courage and determination to move in the direction of our dreams. It is up to each of us to keep reaching for our own stars and to understand that they are not light years distant but as close as our workplace, our home, and our family." **
It is his "Star Sailor" - copied from the Reach for the Stars mural he painted at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in Cape Canaveral, Florida - that graces the certificates that are presented to all competitors. The certificates also bear Christa McAuliffe's picture and quote, "Push yourself as far as you can. Reach for the Stars!" Christa was the teacher who lost her life when the Space Shuttle Challenger crashed. To date over 20,000 kids across the country have been involved in the RFTS ~ Rocket Competition.
The RFTS Competition is safe, easy-to-run, fun and affordable. It is run at your location so there is no travel hassle or expense. No experience necessary. The only thing more exciting than a rocket launch is a rocket competition. It is a great way to interest them in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) careers. http://www.therocketman.net/
Reach for the Stars ~ Rocket Competition national winners get invited to celebrate at Space Camp / U. S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. They will fly their rockets from Homer Hickam Launch pad and be awarded a certificate signed by Astronaut Jon McBride and a medal that commemorates the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger. The presentation is fittingly held under the Saturn V Rocket?? in front of the Lunar Lander – only a few feet away from samples of moon rocks collected by commander Alan Bean himself.
*author - Rocket Boys / October Sky
** Alan Bean Gallery http://www.alanbeangallery.com/
photo - 9th RFTS National Winner Maya Watson, Girl Scouts of Connecticut is honored by National Association of Rocketry Education Director, Vince Huegele - RFTS Competition Founder, Jack Colpas - Space Camp Operations, Matt Green
Jack Colpas, Director - RFTS ~ Rocket Competition