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!

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!