Space & Rocket Center Launches New Podcast

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center / Space Camp have a new podcast!

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Three episodes have been released thus far.

Episode 1 is a talk with Homer Hickam, famed Rocket Boys / October Sky author.

Episode 2 is with retired NASA engineer Kenny Mitchell

Episode 3 is with Virgin Galactic Founder Astronaut Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides.

Next week they’ll be speaking to famed Star Trek graphic designers and authors Michael and Denise Okuda!

Get subscribed!

(Sorta) Space Camp Snoopy Shirt on Woot! Today

shirt.woot.com has a shirt today feature Snoopy on top of his doghouse in a Space Shuttle that says “Space Camp 1982” in a NASA worm-logo font.

Is it authorized? Certainly not! Is it neat? Absolutely!

This is not the first time shirt.woot has a shirt referencing Space Camp! Back in May of 2016 they had one as well.

Here’s to You, Dr. Robinson!

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center finally has a new CEO, and today is her first official day on the job!

What was intended to be completed by early 2020 was sidetracked by COVID for a year!

Speaking of, kudos to Louie Ramirez.  The man retired from the CFO position at the end of 2019, only to be pulled back as an interim CEO to shepherd the Space Center through its most trying time yet.  And that’s really saying something.

Dr. Kimberly Robinson comes to the Space Center by way of a 30+ year career at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center!  This seems like a most excellent start to the director of a space museum!

We are so happy you’re here!

We’re all wishing you the best! We are rooting for you and wish you nothing but success!

Hab1 is 20

20 years!

It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating 10 years!

How time flies.

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!

It continues to be a privilege. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Vincent Vazzo

Space Camp Wings Flying on Blue Test Flight Today

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During Blue Origin’s broadcast of their launch efforts today, Blue showed a segment shot at Space Camp!

At the end of the tour, they mentioned that a set of Space Camp wings were attached to the flight suit of their astronaut stand-in, Mannequin Skywalker.

The live stream of their New Shepard Mission NS-14 can be viewed live.

Good luck, Blue!

Update: The launch was a resounding success, and a photo of the wings has been tweeted out:

Virtualfest TODAY!

The annual Summerfest celebration and corresponding Space Camp Hall of Fame sadly had to be canceled this year due to the coronavirus.

To make up for that, and to raise badly needed funds for Space Camp, the Space Camp Alumni Foundation is hosting the Space Camp Alumni Virtualfest throughout the day today!

The highlight will be the continuation of the annual town hall / state of the union. That streams starting at 5pm Central. Mark your calendars!

Other highlights throughout the day include a live STEM discussion with Shuttle Astronaut, Mike Mullane, and his son, Executive Director of Harvard Business School Online, Patrick Mullane, and a live Space Bowl Trivia game!

To get in on today’s activities, you can head on over to the Space Camp Alumni Facebook page, or their YouTube channel.

While you’re enjoying today’s activities, please consider donating to help strengthen a badly weakened Space Camp!

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Save Space Camp

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.

Aviation Challenge Cancelled for 2020

What was supposed to be a ceremonious 30th anniversary year at Aviation Challenge has instead turned to one of sorrow.

All Aviation Challenge Sessions have been cancelled for 2020.

This will be the first summer since 1989 not to see any Aviation Challenge sessions.

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Aviation Challenge cancellation announcement

I Assure You We’re Open!

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.