Ten years ago, I said “It’s important that we stay engaged with Space Camp through the good times and the bad. Space Camp’s most difficult challenges likely still lie ahead.”
I didn’t realize how true that would be. At the time, my biggest concern leading me to that thought was the retirement of the Space Shuttle. But Space Camp has handled that transition reasonably well.
Obviously, the biggest challenge for Space Camp in the intervening decade is one that is challenging the entire world.
Thanks to thousands of generous donations, Space Camp has been able to weather the COVID-19 storm thus far. Let us hope for a speedy return to normalcy soon! And they’re not out of the woods yet, so please consider giving if you haven’t yet and are in a position to do so.
Regardless, I’ll be around! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported this site over the years by reading and even participating in the HabForum. I’m definitely behind in both reporting and updating the HabFiles section, but please stick around! I will get to it!
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Blue Origin–more specifically Club for Future, Blue Origin’s nonprofit to promote STEM careers–showed a video of their tour of Space Camp during Blue’s NS-14 launch coverage.
Space Camp needs $1.5 million dollars within the next three months or it might cease to exist.
That’s the message that was delivered by Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission chairman John Nerger this past Tuesday in a press conference to kick off the launch of SaveSpaceCamp.com, Space Camp’s GoFundMe campaign.
Like many museums around the world, COVID-19 has devastated the Space & Rocket Center’s finances. Like an estimated one-third of museums in the United States, they might not survive.
But hope is far from lost! In just two days, over a half-million dollars has been raised! That’s an amazing campaign launch!
This still leaves ONE MILLION DOLLARS left to raise though. No easy feat, to be sure. But if every Space Camp, Space Academy, and Aviation Challenge alum donated a dollar, we could get there!
COVID-19 has hit a lot of people on this planet really, really hard. If you are one of the lucky ones to be going through this realtively unscathed, please consider donating. Save Space Camp.
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center opened to members this morning for the first time in nearly three months.
Despite the dreary weather and light showers, a number of people were in line at 10am sharp!
There was quite a bit of cleaning going on. Employees were all wearing masks and generally practicing good social distancing amongst themselves. It’s clear the Space & Rocket Center is taking cleanliness seriously.
Though the center is officially open once again, it’s only open in part. In the Davidson Center, The Saturn V Hall is open, but the National Geographic Theater remains closed.
In the main museum area, only the center atrium is open. Every other facility from the Training Center Floor/MCC to the main gift shop and planetarium are currently closed.
There’s still enough to see to justify the currently discounted $13 admission price. Ultimately a slow, conservative approach to reopening is probably the right answer. Having been hit tremendously hard by the shutdown, I doubt the Space Center could afford to stay closed much longer.
It was wonderful to be able to go back to the Space Center and visit for a morning. It’s a nice bit of normalcy returned. Let’s hope it can stay that way and that the Space Center and the rest of the country can safely continue to reopen.
As The U.S. Space & Rocket Center prepares to open its doors at the end of the week, they have sent out an email and updated their website to provide additional information about the reopening process.
Admission has been reduced by 50% to $13
The simulators are closed to support social distancing
Masks will be required for employees but only ‘strongly recommended’ for visitors
Hours will be reduced, with the Space Center staying closed on Mondays for additional cleaning
The Space Center will be open on Friday for members only and will open to the general public beginning on Saturday, May 30th.