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Anacapa Students to Learn About Vandenberg’s Next Generation Space Tech

Students at Anacapa School will host Larry Hill for the independent school’s First Thursday Open Breakfast Club Series at 7:50 a.m. March 7.

Hill is the community relations chief at Vandenberg Air Force Base. He will speak about the Air Force 30th Space Wing’s involvement in innovative space launch projects such as the most recent launch of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission and privately funded work with companies such as Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX).

The Landsat program, which traces its roots back nearly 45 years to the Hughes Santa Barbara Research Center (now Raytheon), is a partnership between NASA and the United States Geological Survey to photograph the Earth from orbit. Instruments aboard orbiting Landsat satellites have recorded millions of images of our blue planet. The February Landsat launch placed an eighth state-of-the-art satellite into orbit to continue the imaging project.

SpaceX is presently preparing for a demonstration launch of the world’s largest rocket to-date. The Falcon Heavy rocket system can launch a 117,000-pound payload into orbit, nearly twice the payload capacity of the space shuttle. SpaceX expects to demonstrate a launch of the Falcon Heavy from Vandenberg in 2013 or 2014.

“We visited Vandenberg to see the Landsat launch staging on an Atlas V rocket and later watched the lift-off from our downtown campus,” said Gordon Sichi, Anacapa School’s founding headmaster. “It is exciting for our students to hear about exactly what goes into supporting such complex space projects right here in our own Santa Barbara backyard!”

Hill’s presentation follows Anacapa’s annual, three-day Synthesis Unit in late January which asked students to explore the question “Space: Where Are We Going?” This school year, the school had an all-star lineup of Synthesis Unit presenters ranging from UCSB astrophysicists on the cutting edge of modern interstellar research to Raytheon remote sensing engineers to a NASA astronaut who spoke about life aboard the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station.

Anacapa hosts dozens of expert guest presenters each year. Every month, the school opens its doors to the wider community to honor a special guest lecturer as part of its First Thursday Open Breakfast Club series. Prospective parents who are interested in Anacapa School for their students are welcome to attend this free event to see a Breakfast Club in action.

Anacapa School is an independent, co-educational, WASC-accredited, college preparatory day school for students in grades 7 through 12. Founded in 1981, Anacapa offers rigorous academics, unparalleled civic involvement, arts and humanities at its historic campus located in the heart of the Santa Barbara civic center.

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