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Roughing it ...

The U.S. Space Camp© at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama was inspired by Wernher von Braun's suggestion that there should be summer camps to promote science just as there are for sports. Begun in 1982, the yearly attendance has grown from several hundred to over 12000.

The main technique is to immerse students into a space training experience.

The students use simulators to train just as astronauts do. The simulators include physical trainers to simulate low gravity for example.

Mission simulations include shuttle cabin and mission control simulators. As they carry out a space mission with various crisis and emergencies, the students not only learn the technical aspects of shuttle missions, but also how to work in a group to solve problems.

Over the years it has grown into a major operation with thousands of both young people and adults participating. There are now Space Camp operations in Florida and California as well.

Other versions of spacecamping are also now offered in the US and around the world. Also, related types of space immersion and simulation programs are available.

News & Articles of Interest

See the archive for previous articles...

Space Camp® in US

U.S. Space Camp®
The original space camp provides astronaut and aviator immersion training experiences. Space Camp offers an array of programs for different ages and types of space experiences. There are separate programs for grades 2-3, 4-5, and so forth up to adults.

Other U.S. Spacecamping Style Experiences

Virginia Space Flight Academy
Summer and Weekend Camps at the Wallops Flight Facility near Chincoteague Island, Virginia

Camps at Kansas Cosmosphere
Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center offers a summer camp that offers space immersion training for students in grades 7-10 for 5days. Includes motion-based simulators and G-Force trainers. Intergenerational Elderhostel is provided for grandparents and their grandchildren.

Elderhostel's Spacecamps
Elderhostel is a non-profit organization that offers educational adventures to people 55 and older. They now offer spacecamping trips at both the Alabama US Space Camp and the Kansas Cosmosphere. Check their catalog for the latest information. See the related CNN article and New York Times article.

Shuttle Camp at the Space Center, Alamogordo, NM
Student and family programs provide hands on experiences for living and working in space. Includes both day camps and longer overnight programs.

Other Space Camps

Rocketry Camps
Model rocketry is an exciting and safe hobby for kids of all ages. It's a great way to gain both hands-on technical experience and basic physics theory.

Many rocketry organizations, local clubs and schools will run day camp type events to teach rocketry. Here are a few I've found listed:

World Spacecamping

International Space Camps
These facilities offers similar programs as the US Space Camp. They provide courses, simulations, a space school, and more.


Space Camp Canada
The Cosmodôme in Quebec offers a range of space mission experiences including a 3-day program for kids (ages 9-15).

Space Camp - Atlas Aerospace (Russia)
Atlas Aerospace has begun to offer a space camp experience for young people. The company also offers many other space related experiences such as:


Space Camp Andøya
Established in 1996, this summer program at the Norwegian Andøya Rocket Range allows 20 students from Nordic and ESA countries to learn about space and rocketry. They spend the week at the Andøya range and participate in all phases of a rocket launch campaign. This rocket center launches numerous sounding rockets over the arctic region for scientific studies of weather, aurora, astronomy, etc.

Spaceflight Training
Experience real astronaut/cosmonaut training such as experiencing high Gs in centrifuges or instruction in a Soyuz capsuel

  • Space Adventures
    This adventure travel firm offers several training experiences at the Cosmonaut center in Russia

  • Incredible Adventures
    This adventure travel agency offers opportunities to experience cosmonaut training at Star City in Moscow. Float in zero-g during parabolic flights, ride Mig-25 to the edge of space, and dive in the Hydrolab to simulate space walks.

  • Inside Russia's space camp - BBC - Sept.8.06

Related Space Immersion Experiences
Ames Aerospace Encounter
Programs for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students at NASA's Ames Research Center. Includes interactive experiences in space exploration simulations, aeronautics, etc.

Challenger Center for Space Science Education
Founded in 1986 by the families of the Challenger crew the Challenger Centers offer a space immersion experience similar to Space Camp but in a one day format for student classes. (space day camp perhaps.)

The Centers seek to inspire greater interest and enthusiasm for science and math in students. Numerous educational programs include simulated missions for teams of students and teachers.

Over 30 Challenger Centers are now operational worldwide. See list for one near you. Examples include

Other Camp Programs





The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey





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