Saturday/Sunday – Traveling to the US
With the help of Kühne + Nagel and RUAG Space, we packed our rocket into an orange box and sent it to El Paso, New Mexico. After a long flight (18 hours in total!) with a stop in Atlanta, we were able to reunite with our beloved rocket. Thanks to a robust transport box from KIFA, our parts did not take any damage during transport. The logistics took the us weeks of preparation in order to have all tools and parts ready when we arrive in New Mexico. This is only possible having an exceptionally talented Operations team which makes a huge effort in the background. Our recon team therefore left Switzerland a few days earlier and assured that everything is ready.
Arriving in America was a culture shock in the best way possible. Locals around us were probably puzzled by all the Swiss people staring in glee at the most mundane stuff. Here are the top 10 things ARIS members were surprised by…
Nr 1: Everything is super far apart
America in general is a car nation. But it is especially noticeable in El Paso. To walk from one store to the next, you sometimes have to plan for a 10 minute trip.
Nr 2: Everybody is super nice
Americans are very quick to help you out when you look lost. They are also great at starting conversations and be engaging, regardless of your time schedule.
Nr 3: Chicken Waffles
In the Swiss cuisine, sweet and salty flavors aren’t usually mixed. Meet Chicken Waffles: Savory Chicken on sweet Waffles with honeybutter and drizzled with marple sirup. Nuff said.
Nr 4: You have to show your ID a lot more often
The legal drinking age for beer in Switzerland is 16, in America it’s 21. Due to our energetic and youthful looking team members, we had to show our ID almost every time. (In Walmarkt you have to even show your ID when you look under 40)
Nr 5: Jello
This funky looking goo captured the attention of a lot of ARIS team members. Though reviews were mixed, it found a small but loyal fanbase.
Nr 6: How do poptarts work?
„It tastes just like cardboard“ – was the disappointed conclusion of the once proud owner of the smores-poptarts. His disappointment was lessened when he learned that you have to pop them in the toaster first.
Nr 7: How does the Shower work?
Although almost all of us have an engineering background, the struggles with the shower control were very real. The knob turns one way to turn on the water. To get hot water, you have to turn it further in the same direction. A lot of people showered with cold water until they figured it out.
Nr 8: Ads for Lawyers
It’s illegal to advertise your law practice in Switzerland. To see a lawyer smiling down at you from a big ad was a new experience.
Nr 9: Jugs and Gallons
1.5 Liter is usually the biggest bottle you can get in Switzerland. Being able to get your favorite iced tea in a gallon jug was for many a dream come true
Nr 10: E-Ink Displays
A lot of stores now show the prices of the items on large E-Ink displays.
During the competition, we aim to deliver a daily recap video to keep our friends, partners and supporters up to date. Today, see how me surprisingly met Dustin Koehler, Vice President of ESRA (Experimental Sounding Rocket Association), the organisator of the Spaceport America Cup, at the gate of the airport in Atlanta.
On Monday, we are looking forward to a busy day with full integration, assembly and recovery tests. And then, finally, the competition will inofficially start with a reception at the Las Cruces city hall.