Reach for the Stars MLXV

Daily Briefings.

Daily Briefings is an attempt to clarify the experience of our students’ mission, and to provide insight to what is seen in the gallery.



A perfect day for graduation under the Pathfinder Orbiter.

“I have learned to use the word ‘impossible’ with the greatest caution.” — Wernher von Braun.

Parents, we hope your child has returned home with a renewed interest in learning.

Students, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center experience is designed to show you how science and math can be tools to help you accomplish your goals, and open up greater potential for own future.

But our mission really began at 1:00 PM on December 5, 2009. On that day, 34 students and their families decided that yes, we can make this happen. And you did.




Students participate in two simulated missions during the week.

Space exploration involves missions. Training for them is all about preparing for an environment that requires absolute teamwork. There is a process or procedure for each stage of the mission. Everything is scripted and rehearsed.

This rigid context forms a baseline from which our young friends perform their assigned roles. Anything could (and often does) happen. In those moments, and in the post-mission debriefings, they realize exactly how vital training and team work can be.



The amount and rate of new information presented to students at Space Camp is remarkable.

Sometimes it is difficult for campers to articulate or explain the activities. This is in part due to the use of a special vocabulary.

So we had an idea, provide a framework of questions related to the day's activities. Here are some questions you might ask your child about things you see in the photographs.


Area 51

The Camp and Academy students have now met their day and night counselors. They are learning to function as a team. Every activity is designed to provide the knowledge and training that will prepare them for the upcoming missions.

“We couldn't do anything when we were all talking at once.” — Stuart, Team Calypso

Area 51 is an experience designed to boost morale, strengthen teams, motivate and inspire. Staged in the woods, it provides a break from technology and a welcome immersion in a setting that only nature can provide.

Our academy teams participated in the Leadership Reaction Course. They were split into smaller groups and a leader was designated for each obstacle. The term obstacle best describes the mental and collaborative challenges. The activities are not really physically demanding.

Focus and cooperation are critical. Tasks often require several attempts. It is so difficult that actually completing the task is of secondary importance. We hope the facial expressions as captured in photographs are sufficient to convey the level of their determination.



Training on simulators begins in earnest.

Preparing for the missions includes getting the feel for what it is like to train to be an astronaut.

Astronauts who train for each American crewed space flight program have been tested and prepared for their flight through the use of simulators: machines that re-create the feeling of being in space.

The following are simulators that campers train on at Space Camp.



The students enjoyed a smooth flight—until we encountered the edge of the weather system that caused extensive flooding in Tennessee.

“They’re putting us on a bus!” — Peter, conveying an unexpected move by the airline.

Greetings from Huntsville, Alabama!

We made it. Not quite as planned, but we’re here!

Weather in the southeast delayed our departure. After considering our fuel status, the captain announced that we would reroute to avoid the storm on our planned flight path. This added an hour to hour to the flight time, causing us to miss our connection in Atlanta.

Two fights, one bus, and several hours later—we all arrived at our destination: Space Camp.