Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, et al, at Space Camp

Be certain to catch a special editon of The Late Late Show with James Corden this Sunday after the AFC Championship game!

Yesterday, the show’s facebook page posted this teaser photo:

Facebook post from the Late Late Show with James Corden

James Corden, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, and Chris Pratt were at Space Camp recently to film a piece for the show and, according to Sprocketeers, promote the new Lego movie due out in theaters February 8th.

Chris Pratt also tweeted out this same photo as well as posted it to instagram with the caption, “I fulfilled a lifelong dream by graduating space camp.  No big deal.  Goin’ to space. It’s whatever.”

Mars Generation Scholarships

The Mars Generation Logo

The Mars Generation Space Camp Scholarship Program is accepting applications through January 15, 2019.

Whereas the scholarships Space Camp provides cover tuition only, The Mars Generation generously awards Space Camp tuition, travel expenses, and provides a little spending money for the receipants, to boot!

See https://www.themarsgeneration.org/programs/space-camp-scholarship/ for all of the details!

Space Camp Black Friday Sale

As has been the trend for the past few years, Space Camp will once again discount the price of a camp from the start of Black Friday (midnight on November 23, 2018) to the end of Cyber Monday (11:59 pm on November 26, 2018).

Generally speaking, it’s the only time of the year when Camp is discounted.  Book it over Thanksgiving weekend and save!

https://www.spacecamp.com/blackfriday

The discounts are as follows:

  • $100 off the total price of six-day, overnight, Space Camp®, Aviation Challenge®, Space Camp Robotics or U.S. Cyber Camp programs
  • $50 off Space Camp and Aviation Challenge Family Camp Programs. (Must register a minimum of one adult and one child.)
  • $50 off Adult Space Academy

 

RIP, Dr. von T.

Dr. Georg von Tiesenhausen passed away in the late evening of Sunday, June 3, 2018.  He was 104 years old.

One of the original scientists to come over to America with Dr. Wernher von Braun, Dr. von T helped get America to the moon.  More importantly, he was a great friend to Space Camp.

After an esteemed career at NASA, he worked tirelessly for decades lecturing to kids–including me–at Advanced Space Academy.  His contributions to camp were recognized when he was inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame’s first class.  Later, in 2011, no less than Neil Armstrong would come to Huntsville to present Dr. von T with the Space Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Education.

News coverage on his passing:

AL.com – Dr. Georg von Tiesenhausen, last of German rocket team, dies in Alabama

WAFF – ‘Father of the Lunar Rover’ dies at 104

Atlanta Journal-Constitution – Space pioneer Georg von Tiesenhausen dies at Alabama home

Mars Generation Full Scholarships Available

The Mars Generation LogoThe Mars Generation, a space advocacy group started by Abigail “Astronaut Abby” Harrison, is offering full scholarships to Space Camp for those kids out there whose families can otherwise not afford a trip to Space Camp.

What makes this scholarship unique is that, in addition to covering the Space Camp tuition, The Mars Generation pays for a flight suit, transportation to-and-from Space Camp, and a small stipend!

Applications will be accepted through January 15, 2018. Potential applicants may apply here.

SpaceCamp Finally Getting HD Release on Blu-Ray

SpaceCamp is finally getting a Blu-Ray release!

September 26, 2017 is the day!  And it’s available for preorder at Amazon!

The distributor of the film, Kino Lorber, was kind enough to send me an advance copy of the film, and I am here to give you my thoughts!

The short version: SpaceCamp has never looked better!  It’s a relatively inexpensive Blu-Ray (especially considering the cost of the DVD in recent years) and it’s worth picking up.

The long version: it’s a little frustrating.

For years I’ve dreamed of a cast commentary or at least a commentary with director Harry Winer.

This release has neither of those things.  What it does have are two short (~20 minutes each) interviews with Leah Thompson and Harry Winer.  And they’re magnificent!  Hearing the two talk about their experiences with the film was wonderful, and getting to hear Harry Winer discuss his trip back to Camp last year was a lot of fun, especially for someone who was there to witness it!

Beyond those two interviews, there’s the trailer for the movie, and a few trailers for some other Kino Lorber releases, and that’s it!

On one hand, I do hope for a future “Special Editon” release.  On the other hand, I’ll be frustrated when I buy this movie again.  And buy it I will!

In the meantime, the picture quality is adequate.  The film looks a little grainy, but it’s still a clean transfer of the film.  Since leaving the theaters, SpaceCamp has never looked better!  Even the HDNet airing of it is/was in 1080i, so this is the first time to see a 1080p version of the film!

A photo of the 3 disc releases - 2 DVDs and the Blu-Ray

The 2001 AnchorBay release was the first modern treatment of SpaceCamp.  It contained the film in both widescreen (non-anamorphic) and full frame, the trailer, and that’s it.

Three years later, in 2004, MGM re-rel eased the movie on DVD.  It contained the movie in widescreen (non-anamorphic), and that’s it.

Finally, in 2017, we get a proper high definition, widescreen transfer of the film.  It’s not a great transfer.  But it’s good.  And unless you saw SpaceCamp in the theater in 1986, it’s the best you’ve ever seen it!  And, unlike previous releases, there are a few actual special features!  Not enough of them!  But what’s there is wonderful!

Click to see the full resolution, 1080p image:

So pick it up when it releases on September 26!  It’s worth it!

State of Alabama Provides $10 Million in Funding to Space Camp

Two weeks ago, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey was on hand at Tthe Space & Rocket Center to announce a staggering $10 million grant to Space Camp to provide the initial funding for a new cyber security camp!  The money will presumably be used to fund new facilities to help facilitate this camp as well as the existing Space Camp, Space Academy, and Robotics programs.

You can view the announcement on Facebook Live at: https://www.facebook.com/RocketCenterUSA/videos/10155303783711971/ 

State Representative tweeted out the following photo:

10 Million Check

Feel free to discuss this exciting news in the HabForum!

New Capsule Simulator

Atlantis may be gone, but there’s a new capsule simulator in the floor at Space Camp!

New Capsule Simulator on Training Center Floor

The new capsule can be seen on the left side of the photo, on the opposite side of the Training Center Floor from the other space capsule simulator, seen on the far right side of the frame.  Like the other capsule, it will run the same customized, capsulized version of Binary Star.