This year is the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp’s 40th anniversary.

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is located in Huntsville and has been hosting Space Camp since 1982. Since then, more than 900,000 trainees have come to the camp to learn about space and rocketry.

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center offers this educational experience to children in fourth grade through high school. The camp lasts six days and five nights and is concluded with a virtual graduation.

Huntsville has a deep history in rocketry. Saturn V, the rocket that sent the first men to the moon in 1969, was developed there at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

A Saturn V rocket is now on display at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, along with an Apollo 12 moon rock and the Pathfinder Space Shuttle. 

At Space Camp, attendees from all 50 states, U.S. territories and over 150 foreign countries learn space and flight history, work together and simulate the experience of astronauts.

Space Camp uses actual training techniques and equipment from NASA’s astronaut program. This allows attendees to learn about aerospace career opportunities first-hand.

Activities include training on the 1/6th Gravity Chair, the Five Degrees of Freedom simulator and the Multi-Axis Trainer. Attendees also construct model rockets, design futuristic Martian colonies and more.

According to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center website, Space Camp teaches STEM principles, leadership and teamwork and encourages creativity.

Space Camp instruction is aligned to national science and math standards.

According to the Space Camp website, 96% of graduates said their Camp experience increased their interest in STEM subjects, while 61% are currently in careers or fields of study in aerospace, defense, energy, education, biotech or technology.

Space Camp alumni include NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts, engineers, and scientists.

Scholarships are reserved for students with financial needs, though applications for this year have already been closed.

Space Camp registration for 2022 is currently sold out. However, eager attendees can opt to receive emails about 2023 registration and availability. 

The U.S Space and Rocket Center also provides special programs for adults, families, corporate groups, those with special needs and trainees who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing.

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Space Camp at the 2022 Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony on June 17. There, the Space Camp Hall of Fame will induct eight outstanding alumni, former camp staff and friends of Space Camp.

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