Space Camp Summer Fest 2016 – Saturday Evening

Space Camp Summer Fest 2016 LogoSaturday evening capped off the 2016 Space Camp Summer Fest with the annual Space Camp Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony!

A few hours before the event, all of the previously inducted Hall of Famers in town for the event gathered for a little rehearsal.  Like last year, we were invited on stage to help welcome in the new inductees!

I was lucky to be drafted to team Amy, and it was a pleasure to share the stage with her!  Jason, George, and Larry all provided sincere and poignant moments to the evening.


4 New Inductees at the Podium Giving their Speeches


All-in-all, this year probably saw more of the Hall of Fame return to Huntsville for the event than any year prior!  Among the notables, Francis French made his first visit back since his induction in 2011!


HoF Group - 2016

The introductory videos were extremely well done, and Pat Ammons and her team deserve a round of applause!  I do hope they have them up on the Space Camp YouTube channel soon and I hope to have a full cut of the evening, including Mile O’Brien’s comments, soon!

During dinner, I was fortunate enough to be seated at the same table as Astronaut and Space Camp bestie Bob Springer!  Bob Springer and Space Camp go way back, well beyond all of the time he spent in the sim for the Summer Fest weekend.  I was able to speak with him about all of the Space Camp videos I’ve seen him in over the years, going all the way back to the Journey to Jupiter in-line videos, promos in the 90s and 2000s, and on to present day!  He’s been a real friend to the Center, and it was a pleasure to get to eat dinner with him!  It was one of the many, “Only at Space Camp” experiences during the weekend!

Afterward, it was time for the big concert!  And it was spectacularly huge!  Last year, the headline act was the Yacht Rock Review.  And they did a wonderful job!  So much so, they were brought back this year!  But they were just the opening act!  That’s how much bigger this concert got!  Eddie Money and Mickey Thomas headlined, and Jeff Carlisi, Robbie Dupree, and Bill Champlin were there as well!  It was a huge concert and a huge end to a whirlwind weekend!

Totally 80s Concert

Next year marks the 35th Anniversary of Space Camp!  The dates are already set.

35th Anniversary Weekend - July 13 - 16, 2017

I hope to see you there!

Space Camp Summer Fest 2016 – Saturday – Town Hall Breakfast

Space Camp Summer Fest 2016 LogoSaturday was the big day! Saturday held the Space Camp Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony!

Before the ceremony, there were, of course, more opportunities to dive in the Underwater Astronaut Trainer, fly missions with Astronauts, and run missions from Mission Control with actual NASA flight operations staff!

At 10:30 in the morning, Space & Rocket Center CEO Dr. Deborah Barnhart hosted the “Town Hall Breakfast” to give a sort of “State of the Union” on what’s going on at Space Camp, plans for the future, etc.

Awards were also given out to some very deserving individuals, and current Space Camp Hall of Fame Director Burke Hare gave a speech so wonderful, I regret not having it on video!

Pulling a 1985 Space Camp brochure from his pocket, Burke read Ed Buckbee’s introduction:

1985 Brochure

When he came to the section, “…you’ll design spacecraft for interplanetary exploration, occupy space stations,” Burke called out into the audience, “Anyone here done that?”

Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, Space Camp’s first alumna Astronaut, was in the audience and responded enthusiastically in the affirmative!

It was an amazing breakfast!

Space Camp Summer Fest 2016 – Friday

Space Camp Summer Fest 2016 LogoFriday is when the Space Camp Summer Fest really starts to get going!

I spent a good chunk of Friday morning helping Space Camp Hall of Fame inductee Michelle Lucas prep items for the silent auction.  Others, meanwhile, enjoyed time in the UAT, flying in the sims with Hoot Gibson and Bob Springer, and shopping in the gift shop!  That last item was apparent, as the U.S. Space & Rocket Center broke the record for their single best day in gift shop revenue!  At one point in the day, the register systems crashed!

Later in the afternoon, the event I was most eagerly waiting for happened: Larry B. Scott, SpaceCamp director Harry Winer, producer Patrick Bailey, and Space Camp founder Ed Buckbee all piled into the Davidson 3D Theater along with the rest of us for a screening of SpaceCamp!  What an amazing experience to watch the movie with the people who helped make it!

Before the movie, there was an 8-minute reel featuring segments from promotional spots I was able to cobble together from footage I found in the Rocket Center’s vast tape archives.  After the movie, Ed Buckbee, Larry B. Scott, Harry Winer, Patrick Bailey, and Scott Holcomb–Mr. Hideo Takamini himself–sat down for a panel discussion about the movie!

That was wonderful, to say the least!  But since words would not be able to do such wonders justice, I recorded the entire thing!

Afterward, the first of two concerts began! The Molly Ringwalds played next door at the Marriott, and the Space Camp Alumni Association threw an amazing party!  Since the entire theme for the weekend was the 80s, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of SpaceCamp the movie, there was naturally an 80s costume contest held!

Friday Night Concert and Costumes

All-in-all, it was a very memorable day!

Space Camp Summer Fest 2016 – Thursday

Space Camp Summer Fest 2016 LogoLast weekend marked the second annual alumni weekend, rechristened “Space Camp Summer Fest!”

The weekend is a time to celebrate Space Camp, Space Campers, and highlight all of the amazing goings on at camp.

Like last year, the weekend started off with the Thursday night Biergarten.  The Biergarten is a great opportunity to get some great German food and reconnect with old friends who have come back to Space Camp!

The Biergarten runs through the summer and often features speakers in the 3D Theater.  This week, Ed Buckbee was the highlight, there with others to discuss a new book he edited, The Greatest Space Generation As Inspired by Wernher von Braun.  Space Camp had a professional videographer on hand for that one, which is great, since I was a little too busy catching up with friends to make it into the theater in time!  Hopefully, to satisfy both yours and my curiosity, they’ll have it up on their YouTube channel in the not-too-distant future!

People at the Thursday Night Biergarten


2016 eBay Charity Auction has Started

Hall of Fame Logo - 250px Wide

The ebay portion of the 2016 Hall of Fame auction has just started, and all of the items available for sale via ebay will be up by the end of the day tomorrow (Wednesday).  Anything that doesn’t sell at the silent auction at the Induction Ceremony Saturday will be put up as well, so keep checking:

to see what pops up!

I’m thrilled at the support we got this year! Space Camp Hall of Fame inductee and Higher Orbits founder Michelle Lucas deserves so much credit for all the time and energy she put in to get a ton of items for both ebay and the silent auction!

Bid early, bid often!

Space Camp Mention on $100,000 Pyramid

This past Sunday, on ABC’s second episode of the new $100,000 Pyramid show, a Science teacher named Kristen was asked what she would do if she won the $50,000 she was playing for, and Space Camp was brought into the conversation!

While she ultimately went home with $19,000, I’m not sure that will be enough, sadly, to get her kids to Camp!

Space Camp, MSFC to be Featured on HBO’s Vice

Vice LogoThe last episode of this seasons’ acclaimed HBO news series, Vice, will feature footage and interviews shot at the Marshall Space Flight Center and Space Camp!

The segment will center around the future of spaceflight and the ongoing public and private space efforts.

The episode will begin airing on July 1, 2016 on HBO.  Check your local listings for the start time as well as repeats.

There’s a preview available on their website that briefly shows Space Camp!

Harry Winer Confirmed!

Joining Larry B. Scott to induct the SpaceCamp cast, the movie’s director, Harry Winer, will be on hand!

Additionally, on Friday, July 15, at 6pm, Larry and Harry will sit for a very special screening of SpaceCamp, providing commentary for the duration of the movie.  Afterwards, there will be a Q&A with the audience.

This is truly going to be an amazing event not to be missed!

Get yourself to SummerFest!

Harry Winer, Director of SpaceCamp

Rudy Returns!

Larry B Scott in SpaceCampIt worked!

Larry B. Scott will be coming back to Huntsville for this year’s SummerFest to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of SpaceCamp!

And that’s not all!  To celebrate the great service the movie has done for Space Camp over the last thirty years, the entire cast of SpaceCamp will be inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame!

This year’s ceremony is definitely not one to be missed!