On Thursday, February 21, Eagle Robotics took part in a private video-conference interview with Astronaut Colonel Shane Kimbrough. Colonel Kimbrough has contributed to Eagle Robotics since 2014 via interviews, face-to-face meetings, informal lunches, and private, live-feed conversation during his command of the International Space Station (Expeditions 49/50) in 2016.
This time, the interview was in concert with the theme of this year’s robot challenge “FIRST® Launch 2019,” a set of four different space-themed games for students in grades 2-12. Colonel Kimbrough joined the conversation with our high school teams from his current post at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Eagle Robotics participants had prepared specific questions related to space exploration that were related to the game challenge. Questions centered around manned and unmanned missions, planetary rovers, robotic applications, career pathways, the international nature of space exploration, social interaction on the ISS, and other specific questions of a technical nature. The 45-minute question and answer period ended with a casual promise: if Eagle Robotics made it through the State Championship to the World Competition, held in Houston, Colonel Kimbrough would come down from Johnson Space Center to the competition arena and visit the team in the pits in a flight suit! Two days later, Team 11364 qualified for the World Championship by winning the 3rd Place Inspire Award at the Georgia State FIRST Tech Challenge Championship. Within 24 hours, Colonel Kimbrough reaffirmed his intent to make good on that promise. We look forward to seeing him there! The FIRST® Robotics Championships in Houston will take place April 17-20.