It’s Astro-Palooza at the Rocket Center this Summer

As if the roster of Astronauts confirmed for Space Camp’s Alumni Festival wasn’t enough for you, a number of Astronauts are going to be visiting Space Camp throughout the summer as well!

And you can have lunch with them!

This past Friday, Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson kicked off a summer full of “Lunch with an Astronaut” opportunities at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, and most Fridays will have one of these lunches through August!

Available for all to attend, here’s the current schedule:

  • May 22 – Wendy LawrenceBuy Tickets Now
  • June 5 – Bob Springer
  • June 12 – Robert “Hoot” Gibson
  • June 19 – Don Thomas
  • June 26 – Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger
  • July 3 – Jerry Ross
  • July 10 – Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger
  • July 17 – Don Thomas
  • July 24 – Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger
  • July 31 – Robert “Hoot” Gibson
  • August 7 – Wendy Lawrence
  • August 14 – Jerry Ross
  • August 21 – Bob Springer



Ed Van Cise Speaks to Space Campers

NASA ISS Flight Director and Space Camp Hall of Fame inductee Ed Van Cise was in Huntsville, Alabama this past week visiting the Marshall Space Flight Center on official NASA business.

Ed was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to speak to an auditorium full of enthusiastic Space Campers in the National Geographic Theater at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center!

Watch below or on YouTube as Ed talks about his experiences with Space Camp, life, and NASA, and answers questions from many enthusiastic Space Campers!

Astronaut Kate Rubins Announced to HoF Class of 2015

Astronaut Kate RubinsAn announcement made this evening has revealed the selection of Astronaut Kate Rubins to the 2015 class of inductees into the Space Camp Hall of Fame!

From Twitter, Michael Flachbart, Space Camp’s Vice President of Center Operations, announced Kate as the first of what will end up as four new members into the Space Camp Hall of Fame!

Like Astronauts Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger and Sam Cristoforetti, Kate is an alumna of Space Camp!

Look for the additional inductees to be announced as the month progresses, and come see their induction ceremony in person on July 25 as part of Space Camp’s Alumni Festival!

Congratulations, Kate!

Alumni Festival – July 23-25

Space Camp Alumni Festival Logo

The Space Camp Hall of Fame, since its inception in 2007, has always made for one very fine evening, celebrating all that is great about Space Camp!

So what could be even better?  How about an entire weekend of alumni activities?

This year, the Space Camp Hall of Fame will be one big component in an even bigger weekend!

And it’s astronaut-palooza, to boot!

No fewer than seven astronauts are scheduled to be on hand, include Space Camp Hall of Fame inductees Robert “Hoot” Gibson and Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger!

The full schedule of events, along with ticketing information, can be found on the Alumni Festival page, but the highlights are as follows:

July 25

Events kick off on Thursday night with the weekly Biergarten event.  Eat some schnitzel, drink some beer, and be merry!

July 26

Volunteers have been busily working on restoring the F-14 down at Aviation Challenge and Friday afternoon will hold its rededication.  F-14 Top Gun pilots, Scott “Scooter” Altman and Robert “Hoot” Gibson will be on hand!

The rest of the day can be spent in the water at AC, or testing your mettle on Aviation Challenge simulators.  Later in the evening hang out with other alumni by the pool at the Marriott.

July 27

The morning starts off with an alumni breakfast, followed by time in Space Camp simulators.

At 4pm, Astronaut Dr. Rhea Seddon will discuss her time at NASA and her new book, Go for Orbit.  Afterwords, she’ll be available to sign copies.

Immediately after, the Space Camp Hall of Fame will welcome its class of 2015, with a concert in Shuttle Park immediately following the proceedings!

This is shaping up to be the largest alumni event ever!  If you’ve been repeatedly putting off plans to visit Space Camp, your time has come.  This is surely the weekend to come back home!

But if you can’t make it (what?!), fear not!  You can still participate, at least a little.  In addition to the charity auction at the Hall of Fame, this year will see items up on eBay for anyone to bid on!  Look for more information as Alumni Weekend draws closer!

STA Breaks Ground!

It’s been just a few days north of a year since the Space & Rocket Center’s very first crowdsourcing campaign, Land a Shuttle Training Aircraft at the Space & Rocket Center, successfully raised $71,340 from 307 donors on Indiegogo in an effort to bring a Shuttle Training Aircraft to the Space & Rocket Center.

Things have been pretty quiet since!

Though the last status update to the campaign was made ten months ago, things haven’t been completely at a standstill.

In fact, just the other day, they finally broke ground!  It was a long journey to get to this point, to be sure, but things are progressing!

No word yet on whether or not the aircraft will be here in time for the Alumni Festival in July, but there is hope!

Groundbreaking for STA

RIP Oscar Holderer, 1919-2015

SC Hall of Fame 2008 Inductee Oscar HoldererOscar Holderer, member of Wernher von Braun’s team, died today, May 5, 2015.  He was 95 years old.

Oscar was a great friend to Space Camp over the years, for it was he who designed many of the simulators in use at Space Camp, including the 1/6 Chair, 5DF, and Multi-Axis Trainer.

In 2008, Oscar was honored for his contribution with his induction into the Space Camp Hall of Fame.

Visitation and remembrances will take place from 2 to 4pm on Friday, May 8, 2015 at the Spry Funeral Home in Huntsville, AL.


View Oscar’s Space Camp Hall of Fame induction videos:


Second Annual Rover Challenge Starts Tomorrow

NASA Rover Challenge LogoThe second annual NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge begins tomorrow!  Though the race is only in its second year, it is a direct continuation of the “Great Moonbuggy Race,” which ran for twenty years at the Space & Rocket Center before its renaming last year.

As usual, if you can’t make it out to the Space Center, be sure to check in on the race on MSFC’s UStream channel, and/or follow their twitter feed.


Your Counselor’s a Real Hoot!

Hoot Gibson CounselorA few lucky campers are going to get to train like an Astronaut by an Astronaut!

No, it’s not Andie or Zach Bergstrom, it’s better!

With five Space Shuttle missions under his belt, a Space Camp Hall of Fame induction, time as a Southwest pilot, Naval Aviator, and former Cheif Astronaut,  Robert “Hoot” Gibson is about to add another job to his resume: Space Camp Counselor.

Registration for Hoot’s October Adult ASA session clocks in at $1649, plus the requisite let’s-make-the-camp-look-cheaper-and-then-add-$50 registration fee.  The price seems like a bargain to many, as registration appeared to have filled up today, though the system is now again spots available, as of this posting.  Whether there was just a glitch or they opened up another team (Hoot is really going to be ambitious if he’s pulling team doubles) is unclear.  Regardless, if you’re interested, you would be wise to sign up sooner rather than later.

To attend this rare Adult ASA session with Space Camp’s many fine-but-alas-not-astronaut counselors, tuition clocks in at a mere $1299.

This is the very first time in quite some time that the full Advanced Space Academy program has been offered to adults, so seize the opportunity!

Registration can start by heading over to

USSRC Turns 45!

The Alabama Space & Rocket Center opened its doors 40 years ago today, on March 17, 1970!

Head on over to their Facebook page and see the wonderful video advertisement they posted from the early years!

And if you’re local, join in the celebration at this week’s Biergarten event and walk through a photographic retrospective showing what a wonderful forty-five years it has been!

Happy Birthday!

Bon Voyage, Charity!

Charity Nehls Stewart Speaking at a Social Media SummitIt’s the end of an era.

Today is the very last day of Charity Nehls Stewart’s employment with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center!

While you may or may not know the name, if you follow any of Space Camp’s social media accounts, you certainly know her work!

For the past four years, Charity has been the Space Center’s Advertising and Social Media Director, but her time working at Space Camp stretches back over a decade, all the way to 2004 when she started out as a counselor!

Off to bigger and better things, we wish her all the best!

While it’s likely to take several people at the Space Center to cover her duties, I certainly don’t envy them.  Those are awfully big shoes to fill! I wish them all the best as well!