Space Camp® launched in 1982 to inspire and motivate young people from around the country to join the ranks of space pioneers who persevere to push the boundaries of human exploration. Today, with attendees from all 50 states, territories and more than 60 foreign countries, the immersive program continues to challenge young people to dream of a future in space.
With the U.S. Space & Rocket Center® as home base, trainees have an unparalleled environment to spur imagination. Historic space, aviation and defense hardware, along with exhibits that highlight current and future programs help Space Camp trainees transcend from, “What if?” to “Can do!” thinking and actions. Indeed, Space Camp alumni include NASA and ESA astronauts, engineers, scientists and technologists.
Static displays and unique settings provide excellent areas for classroom instruction while hands-on training, high fidelity simulations and enthusiastic counselors ignite the singular sizzle of Space Camp. Teamwork, leadership, decision-making: from mission control to space transport to space station, trainees gain personal and professional insights that profoundly impact futures.
Space Camp is the brainchild of rocket scientist, Dr. Wernher von Braun. Von Braun led propulsion activities that launched the Apollo-era U.S. manned space program and envisioned an aggressive schedule for America’s space-bound pioneers. Von Braun, then director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, reasoned there should be an experience for young people who were excited about space. Under the guidance of Edward O. Buckbee, the first director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Space Camp was born.
Camps are available for fourth grade through high school-age students. Additional programs are offered for trainees who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing and those who have other special needs. Space Camp programs are also available for adults, educators, corporate groups and families. Family programs may include children as young as seven years old.
Space Camp has attracted more than 600,000 trainees since its inception.