Lifetime USSRC Membership No Longer Sold

This is technically old news, but I just noticed it recently and thought it was worth a mention.

The “Lifetime Membership” option for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center has been on hiatus for a little over a year.

The lifetime membership had been offered for $1,000 and first became available in early 2014.

Curiously, “Lifetime Membership” is still an option on the Space & Rocket Center Online Shop, but clicking on it doesn’t take you anywhere other than the store’s home page.

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Former USSRC CEO Larry Caps: 1940 to 2023

Larry Caps with his Medaris Award

Brigadier General (retired) Larry Capps, who served as the CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center from 2000 until his somewhat tumultuous retirement in 2011, passed away this past Tuesday at the age of 82.

Gen. Capps assumed leadership of the beleaguered Rocket Center after the previous CEO, Mike Wing, left the institution with its balance sheet in disarray and deep in debt.

Soon after taking the reins, Gen. Capps faced another setback as the September 11 attacks significantly diminished parents’ willingness to put their children on airplanes to attend Space Camp.

Despite these challenges, the Space & Rocket Center continued to progress under Gen. Capps’ stewardship, successfully managing its debt and relocating the Saturn V to the newly-built Davidson Center.

Visitation will be Friday, May 12 from 1 to 2 PM with a memorial service from 2 to 3 pm at Laughlin Srervice Funeral Home in Huntsville, AL. He is to be laid to rest at the Lawnwood Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Covinton, GA.

We here offer our deepest condolences to his wife Brenda and the rest of his family.

NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge is Back!

Previously known as The Great Moonbuggy Race, the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge is back after a global-pandemic-sized hiatus of four years! This will be the first rover competition since 2019.

The competition starts tomorrow, Friday, April 21, 2023, and runs through Sunday. It is open to the public, so you’re welcome to go down and see teams compete!

The event is usually streamed online as well. Keeping an eye on the NASA Rover Challenge twitter feed would probably be the best bet to find out how to watch online.

The biggest change this year is the venue. The obstacle course has moved down to Aviation Challenge!

Human Exploration Rover Challenge Course Map

Best of luck to the more than 500 students from around the country and the world who will compete in this event!

May the best rover win!

A Space Camper is Going to the Moon!

NASA held their big Artemis II crew announcement today! You can watch the entire video here, but the highlight is that Space Camp alumna and Space Camp Hall of Fame inductee Christina Koch was one of the four selected to go to the Moon on Artemis II!

The flight is currently slated for no earlier than November 2024!

Christina Koch was inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame in 2019, and you can learn more about her in her Hall of Fame introduction.

Christina is a five-time alumna of Space Camp, and soon she’s going to be going around the Moon!

Congratulations to Christina! She’s everything Space Camp founder Ed Buckbee had ever hoped for when Space Camp really got going. That an alum of his creation will soon be traveling as far away as any human has ever gone is really something special.

“First Space Camp is Termed a Success”

So reads the headline from the Summer 1982 Alabama Space & Rocket Center Newsletter!

This newsletter also features a copy of the New York Times article and a number of great photos from Camp!

Ahead of the 40th anniversary of Space Camp, I was digging around the USPTO website and found this document in a very old trademark filing! It had a number of scuffs and USPTO acceptance stamps on it, so I’ve cleaned it up to present here! Enjoy!

2022 Space Camp Hall of Fame Available

The entirety of this year’s Space Camp Hall of Fame Ceremony is now up on YouTube! It really was one of the best events put on by the Space Center in quite some time (and that’s really saying something)!

The staff did a tremendous job, as always! If you watch this year’s and think to yourself, “Oh, I wish I had been there,” I would encourage you to attend future events! It’s worth traveling for, especially if you haven’t been back to Camp in quite some time!

There are also the indivdiual speeches, the Inspiration4 chat, and more in separate videos as listed in the 2022 Space Camp Hall of Fame Playlist.

Australasian Post – December 29, 1983

The early days of Space Camp were heady ones. The camp was a press darling. The New York Times ran an early article, and TV news outlets such as The Today Show and Good Morning America also ran features. Inquiries about Space Camp poured in from around the United States. But in a much bigger, less connected world, international press coverage was virtually nonexistent.

And so it’s quite the novelty to see this article from the December 29, 1983 issue of the Australasian Post out of Australia.

At only two pages, and photos taking up most of the space, there’s not an awful lot of editorial content. But it’s perhaps the earliest lookback at Space Camp I’ve ever seen from an international source.

I hope you enjoy it. You can download a PDF here.

Space Camp Announces 40th Anniversary Celebration

2022 marks the 40th anniversary of Space Camp! This summer, they are celebrating that anniversary with a two-day celebration on June 17th and 18th, 2022.

The celebration begins on the evening of June 17th when Space Camp hosts the Space Camp Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. This will be the first time since the beginning of COVID that the ceremony has been held, having been canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing global pandemic.

Tickets to the ceremony can be purchased online, and sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Activities for June 18th will include the Alumni Town Hall in the morning, and local brewery Yellowhammer is putting on a benefit for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation at the brand new Orion Ampitheater in Huntsville! More details including how to get tickets for that event can be found on the T-Minus Music Fest information page.

So if it’s been a while since you’ve been to Space Camp, this 40th-anniversary celebration is the perfect excuse to come on back to Space Camp and join in the festivities!

Space Camp 40th Save the Date Imager