Adults at Space Camp

One of our young club members shared her story of space camp at one of our NPMAS club meetings. She was about 16, and was so excited about her weeklong stay at the Huntsville Alabama U.S. Space and Rocket Center. I couldn’t help but get caught up in her enthusiasm, and found myself wishing I could go to space camp.

I went up to her after the meeting and told her how much I wished I could go to space camp. She looked at me, eyes sparkling and grinning from ear to ear – “You can!” she said. It never occurred to me that there would be an adult space camp. That was it, I had to go.

I went home and told my hubby about my latest spacey adventure plans. We both work full time, and we have two kids. Money could be an issue. I decided to start saving, and hoped to go in a year or two. I did some research online about cost etc. and set my goal.  That year my husband gave me the best Christmas present he could. His work gave out bonuses that year, and he gave me the bulk of his for my trip to space camp! I looked at him in complete disbelief, and was so moved by the gesture that I started to cry.

Then I called Lynn.

She was on board right away! We started making plans. Lynn took care of the travel arrangements. She likes to travel by rail, so we booked passage on Amtrak to Memphis. (Don’t worry; I get the irony of two people going to space camp on a train.) We rented a car from Memphis to Huntsville. We registered for a four day weekend adult space camp session in late September 2003. We were good to go!

Heading to Space Camp – on a train….well we actually started on a bus, then the train then a car…whew!

 

Not much room up here – kinda like sleeping in the Space Shuttle!

 

Yea! We made it!

 

This is our home away from home. Normally full of kids, we were lucky to have it to ourselves!

 

First came astronaut training. I was still motion sick from our trip, but actually had a blast on this thing!
Space Shot! 20 seconds of terror – 2 seconds of 0 g. Totally worth it!

 

Next came our mock mission. I was MS 2 and Lynn was at Mission Control. I got to fix the ‘Hubble’!
That’s me on the right. The chairs we’re in actually were hover chairs that floated like we were in space. Very fun!
Taking off in the Endeavor!
Get us home safely! I’ll try to remember to close the shuttle doors!
I guess we have the right stuff – we earned our wings!

 

 

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