The Campfire Chronicles

reported by Miss Camp

December 21, 2001



As a special visitor to Camp Linus this week, Snoopy is our honorary Scout of the Week!

Congratulations Snoopy!

Can you believe that a real rocket scientist came to visit Camp Linus this week?! Her name is Mrs. Cindy Camp and she is Miss Camp’s sister-in-law. She works for Lockheed Martin in Colorado. Her job is to help launch a rocket called the Titan-4 several times each year. The rocket carries a “payload” into space and leaves it there.

The payload may be a satellite that will orbit the earth, or a spacecraft that will go on a mission. A satellite can do many things. For example, it can take pictures or it can send back information about the weather.

After the September 11th attacks, the Titan-4 brought a special satellite into space that could help in the hunt for Bin Laden. Imagine a camera that can read someone’s license plate from as far away as the moon! Titan-4 mostly launches satellites, but it has launched one unmanned Spacecraft, Cassini, that is currently on its way to Saturn, expected to arrive in orbit around Saturn July 1, 2004.

Mrs. Camp showed a video of the Titan-4 blasting off, and here are some questions that the scouts at Camp Linus had for Mrs. Camp afterward:

How does it land? (Josh) The rocket does not return to earth. When the rocket reaches its destination in outer space, it falls apart and leaves its payload to orbit around the earth.
How do the people get out? (Josh) Unlike the Space Shuttle, this rocket does not carry any people on board. It is “unmanned.” It only carries the “payload.”
How many people can fit in a rocket? (Nikki) There aren’t any people who go in the rocket, but there would be room enough for a whole school bus.
Have you caught any bad people yet? (using the satellites put in space by the Titan-4) (Tiano) That's classified.
What makes the rockets go off? (Josh) Fuel
How many gallons of gas does the rocket hold? (Jenna) The rocket holds about 2 ½ million pounds of fuel, and that’s about 400,000 gallons of gas.
How long would it take to get to Mars? (Alexis) About 8 or 9 months.
How do we know Pluto exists if it is so far away? (Eric) An unmanned spacecraft named the Pioneer-10 launched in 1972 (30 years ago). It passed by Pluto’s orbit and left our solar system in 1983. It was the first manmade object to leave our solar system. We have telescopes today that allow us to see Pluto from Earth.
Have any rocks from space ever hit Earth? (Tiano) There is a theory that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by large asteroids hitting the Earth and triggering the great Ice Age. There are some craters on Earth that are evidence of Earth having been hit by large asteroids a long time ago.
Would it be colder on Pluto or in plain outer space? (Alexis) It would depend where in space you are. If you are close to a star, it would be colder on Pluto.
Are there any stars that are hotter than our sun? (Nikki) Yes. Hotter stars are blue, and cooler stars are red. Our star (our sun) is yellow – medium hot.

In preparation for Mrs. Camp’s visit, Camp Linus had been keeping a list of all the questions that we wanted to ask her. Here is the list of questions and some of the answers:

What are satellites in space used for? Taking pictures, surveillance, info on weather, more...
Has a person ever gone to another planet? No.
Is the sun bigger than the earth? Yes.
Has anything ever blown up on Mars? Yes, a satellite crash landed on Mars in the last 3 or 4 years.
Did anyone get to the moon before us, and did anyone knock our flag out of the moon so they could put their flag there instead? No. United States is the only country who has sent astronauts to the moon.
How many stars are in the universe? We don't know.
Does anything get sucked into a black hole? Yes.
Did an astronaut ever die in space and on which planet? No astronauts have ever been to another planet, and no astronauts have died in “space.” In 1986, astronauts on board the Challenger died when the space shuttle exploded shortly after blasting off. It was technically still within earth’s atmosphere so not yet in “space.”
Is there anything living on any other planet? We don't know.
How long does it take to get up into space? 10 minutes to leave our atmosphere
People can’t live on Mercury because it is too hot. Could people live there if they lived deep underground – inside the planet? No, because we wouldn’t be able to breathe oxygen.


  • How do meteor showers start? (Josh)
  • If there was no moon would we die? (Tiano)
  • When it snows, what planet is the coldest? (Nikki)
  • What makes the moon? (Mike)
  • Could someone walk all the way around the moon? (Ryan Sch.)
  • Could you fall off the moon? (Eric)
  • Could you fall off the moon if you weren’t wearing a space suit? (Alexis)
  • Will people live on Mars? (Mike)

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