TERS reps watch the last
historic launch of the Space Shuttle program
By Lailani Upham
(L to R) On board and heading south to Kennedy Space Center in Florida
from Missoula International Airport is Two Eagle River seventh graders,
Ethan Baker, Keyan Lefthand and Two Eagle River School Seventh Grade
Teacher, Allen Bone. (courtesy photo)
PABLO — It was the last launch of the Space
Shuttle's 30-year program and Two Eagle River School seventh grade
students, Ethan Baker and Keyan Lefthand and their teacher Allen Bone
staked their spot with "powwow chairs," front-and-center this month at
Cape Canaveral, Fla., and they weren't alone.
An estimated one million spectators were camped in
and around the Kennedy Space Center for what Space Coast Office of
Tourism executive director Rob Varley called, "the world's greatest
The three TERS representatives watched the last
blastoff of a U.S. space shuttle Atlantis with excitement and amazement
only a few miles away from the launch site on July 8.
What led up to the once in a life opportunity was
through an earlier link from last year between Salish Kootenai College
and the University of Idaho.
(L to R) Young boys, Ethan, Keyan and "space shuttle-watching buddy,"
Trever Theis, have front row VIP seats at the Kennedy Space Center on
launch day of the space shuttle "Atlantis" on Friday, July 8. (courtesy
The NASA "Summer of Innovation" program was
introduced at Salish Kootenai College last year through Dr. Lori
Lambert, SKC professor of Medical Ecology and Anthropology and space
camp consultant, when the NASA Space Academy was hosted at the SKC
campus, and support from the University of Idaho.
The Space Academy was part of the NASA Idaho Space
Grant Consortium, which was one of four states chosen to participate in
NASA's SOI program.
The ISGC's proposal was allocated to
underrepresented populations and was awarded a full grant for three
years for Idaho, Montana and Utah regions.
It came as a pleasant surprise to Bone when word
came from Ed Galindo from the University of Idaho, who also was
responsible for organizing the launch, that a TERS team learned of the
trip just a number of weeks prior to the actual Atlantis lift-off.
The students were selected on good merit and
interest in the space, and the math and sciences, according to Bone.
(L to R) Ethan Baker, Allen Bone, and students from the Wyoming group,
Kylee Myers and Martina Greenhaw, along with Keyan Lefthand, stand
underneath the famous "NASA" landmark. The TERS lads connected with
other groups with the "Summer of Innovation" University of Idaho
project during the trip, Bone said. (courtesy photo)
Ethan Baker said his goal is study to become a
mechanical engineer after high school.
Credit goes to TERS for providing partial
financial support for the boys' journey. The first day was spent
touring the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center, Bone said. They also
visited Universal Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park and.
Besides the launch, and the space simulator at the
Space Center, "The Incredible Hulk" ride at Universal Studios was the
thrill of Baker's southern expedition.