2017 Space Camp Hall of Fame Class Announced

I’m behind on this by a few weeks, granted.

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center announced the class for the 2017 Space Camp Hall of Fame and it is a special one!

2017 Space Camp Hall of Fame Inductees

First up, NASA Astronaut Dr. Serena Aũnón-Chancellor shall be inducted. Serena is the fourth Space Camp alumna Astronaut to receive this honor.  She is currently training for an upcoming mission to the International Space Station!

Dr. Jennifer Heldmann is a Research Science at NASA’s Ames Research Center.  She earned a Ph.D. in Planetary Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Marine Maj. John Hecker has the right stuff!  He’s the pilot of “Fat Albert,” the Blue Angels’ C-130!

Dr. Michelle K. Christensen is a former Space Camper and counselor.  Before earning a Ph.D. from Penn State University, she spent some time at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and she currently works at Blue Origin.

Want to see these fine folks inducted in person?  Get your tickets for the 2017 Space Camp Summerfest!

And read about the event and more in the Spring Edition of the Space Camp Alumni Association’s newsletter.

Summerfest 2017 Logo

NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge

NASA Rover Challenge LogoNASA’s annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge (formally known as The Great Moonbuggy Race) begins tomorrow, March 31, and runs through Saturday!

The event will be live streamed on Marshall Space Flight Center’s USTREAM page, and details throughout the event can be viewed on the Challenge’s Facebook page.

Good luck to all of the competitors!

The Mars Generation – Netflix – May 5

Back around the time of the 2015 Space Camp Hall of Fame weekend, there was a camera crew running all over Space Camp!

The result of that work is set to be shown in a new Netflix documentary, The Mars Generation, set to be available on that service on May 5.

A trailer was released today for the documentary, and it looks mighty exciting!

Educator ASA Openings

Space Camp for Educators LogoI was contacted recently by a teacher in search of other teachers.

She and some other teachers want to go not just to Space Camp for Educators this summer, but a special Advanced Space Academy for Educators!  But they’re a few teachers short of a team!

If you or a teacher you know are interested in going to Camp, June 29 to July 3 is looking for five more teachers!

If you or someone you know might be interested, shoot me an email, and I can put you in touch with the teacher who contacted me!

The Space Camp for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers.  You or a teacher you know would be well served to go through it!  Even better served, perhaps, by going through an ASA version of the program!

Muslim Ban Keeps Aussie Youth from Space Camp

Seal of the President of the United StatesIn the midst of all of the stories and reporting regarding President Trump’s Executive Order banning certain individuals from entering the United States, one human interest story involving Space Camp came to light.

Pouya Ghadirian, a 15-year-old with dual-Australian-Iranian citizenship, was planning on going to Space Camp this March, but the order has caused the rejection of his visa application.

The story received a fair bit of traction in the press, with articles published by numerous outlets, including:

Update: with the courts having struck down the ban, Pouya’s trip to Space Camp is back on!

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!