The Jack C. Davis Observatory at Western Nevada College now houses a part of our nation's space exploration legacy. The college has received an authentic thermal protection tile from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's space shuttle program. Thousands of the tiles cover each of the space shuttles that orbited Earth and carried astronauts to the International Space Station over the past three decades.
Observatory Director Robert Collier called the acquisition, now framed and ready for viewing, a wonderful tribute to our nation's space exploration program.
"It honors 30 years of science, aeronautics and space exploration made by the men and women of NASA," he said. "We are at the end of one era of space exploration and the beginning of another."
WNC Vice President of Administrative Services Dan Neverett learned that authentic tiles from the space shuttle program were being offered to educational institutions at no cost except the shipping, and immediately contacted Professor Collier about requesting one.
Collier has more than an academic interest in the space shuttle program. In the late 1960s, he worked on a top-secret project that turned out to be creating batteries to power the Voyager space probes. They were launched in the 1970s and still send information to Earth today.
Now, he can be part of another important space connection.
"The value in having this," he said, "is allowing people to come to the observatory and see the greatness of our space industry, and what it can do for the future."
Learn about earth's nearest neighbor -the moon
We all look at it, and sometimes we are mesmerized by it. Now learn about the Moon in a free lecture at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, at WNC's Jack C. Davis Observatory. The talk by Michael Thomas will cover the Apollo landing, other countries' space missions, and the latest theories about how the Moon was formed. Telescope viewing of the night sky will follow the lecture.
College seeks craft fair vendors
Western Nevada College Classified Employee Council is seeking craft vendors for the annual craft fair 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 3 at WNC Carson City. Local vendors with handmade crafts are invited to participate, while space is available. Fee is $25. Contact Shelly Bale at 445-3266 by Sept. 1, to secure a prime location. Other spots may be reserved through Sept. 30.
Bilingual computer classes on tap
WNC is offering computer classes to provide the Latino community with a comfortable environment for learning basic computer skills. Students will learn how to create files, navigate the Internet, create an e-mail account, and more. Classes are taught in English with Spanish-language lab assistance and meet 1-5 p.m., Saturdays, at WNC Carson City. Each class is .5 units. Cost is $46.63 for Nevada residents.
Basic Internet (CA 144-1003, #94815) Sept. 17 and 24.
Introduction to PowerPoint (CA 107-1004, #94816) Oct. 8 and 15.
Introduction to Word Processing (CA 102-1004, # 94817) meets Nov. 5 and 12.
Introduction to Spreadsheets-Excel (CA 103-1044, # 94818) Dec. 3 and 10.
Information: Lupe Ramirez, 445-3344.