The Bottom Line up Front on this post. I am asking you to donate to the Save Space Camp Campain!
My Space Camp Story
Why do I want you to save Space Camp? In June of 1982, I spent a week at Space Camp. About 6 months earlier, the camp had been announced on local TV for the 6:00 pm newscast. We were eating dinner as a family and I said I wanted to go. I was in 8th grade and this would be the only year I was eligible under the rules the set out for that first year.
Within days I had figured out how to get an application, get my science teacher at Mountain Gap Middle School, Miss Adams to sign off on it as a recommendation and had my parents pay for the camp. I was in. Not only was I in the camp, but I would be there the very first week of Space Camp ever!
What you do at Space Camp
What a week it was. We studied rockets, propulsion, aerodynamics, space suits, built and launched model rockets. Also, we reached into history and learned leadership. We took turns on simulators.
We learned to walk in the 1/6th gravity of the moon (much harder than you think). I practiced maneuvering outside a spacecraft using the 5DF (5 degrees of freedom). Even learned how hard it was for the Apollo astronauts to climb from the raft into the recovery basket.
The end of the week was our “Space Mission”. We were to launch in the Space Shuttle and fly a mission to place a satellite in orbit. Of course, at that point, Shuttle had not yet flown its first mission (STS-1). The shuttle simulator in 1982 was a black plywood box filled with control panels and switches. All salvaged from unused space hardware from Apollo. I was selected as Command Pilot and Mission Commander, a fact I am still very proud of today)
I still have my wings and the certificate that went along with them. They are framed and hang in my classroom at school. It is always a great way to start a conversation with my students.
Space Camp has inspired many students to go into all kinds of STEM careers and even produced 12 Astronauts.
Again I ask you to help us save this institution that has inspired so many.
Read more are visiting the U.S. Space and Rocket Center here.