Pirates and Babies

Author: Kristin H.

It’s not until the end of the second-to-last week of SSP that you realize how fast it’s gone by. Looking back on the first week, all of us were just strangers with slightly better sleep schedules. Now, we’ve got inside jokes, nicknames, and even a song.

The day started off with show-and-tell, or what soon became watch-Lucy’s-chickens-eat-peanuts for 40 minutes. Big Red, or was it Little Red? Anywho, Michael showed us his custom-made sapphire wedding ring, which was pretty cool.

One of Lucy’s many chickens

The next part of our day was our third guest lecture of the week, no less inspiring than the others. Mrs. Drain shared with us her job as a system engineer, with a mission to build spacecraft to explore the solar system.

One of Jupiter’s moons, Europa

With the looming OD report coming up next week, our minds are full of orbital elements and astrometry. On top of that, today we were introduced to OIRP – Orbit Integration Research Project. By the end of the day, we were expected to have a program called SWIFT up and running–a program that proved to be an obstacle to Mac users. If this shows one thing, it’s this: Windows is far superior to Mac.

As usual, our group had questions about the pset within the first 15 minutes of the work/play block. Fortunately, we have four amazing TAs who pop in and out of breakout rooms, not only gracing us with their presence but also… baby pictures?

As for tonight, asteroid astrometry is not the top priority, but instead the SSP bread-themed talent show. With 27 promising acts and, of course, a faculty special, tomorrow will undoubtedly be a spectacular day.

As we enter the last week of SSP, I can’t wait to see the results of all our hard work and research. Thank you all for making SSP the most incredible experience and an amazing summer.


Hi! I’m Kristin, and I’m a rising senior at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. I love swimming, playing the violin, speedcubing, astrophotography, and playing with my two kittens.