• Holderer

    Oscar Holderer

    One of the original members of the von Braun Rocket Team, Holderer not only helped put men on the moon but also made it possible for thousands of would-be astronauts to learn all about space travel. His realistic design of such Space Camp® mainstays as the Multi-Axis Trainer, the 5DF and the 1/6th gravity trainer have allowed more than half a million youngsters over two decades to experience astronaut training on equipment modeled after actual NASA training equipment. Holderer is also responsible for helping ensure that millions of Alabama visitors traveling I-65 are greeted by a Saturn IB rocket proudly proclaiming Alabama’s place in history as the Birthplace of Manned Space Flight.

  • Maicki

    Marlenn Maicki

    BS – Wayne State University / MAT – Oakland University

    A devoted career educator, Mrs. Maicki does more than teach…she inspires. As a fifth grade science teacher and Dean of Students at Detroit’s Country Day School, she is legendary for her insistence that science be learned not from a text book, but by doing, seeing and experiencing. As of 2014, Mrs. Maicki has marked 27 consecutive years of bringing her entire 5th grade class – and most of their parents - on an annual trek to Space Camp®. With “the heart of a child and the creativity and drive of an award-winning teacher,” she has inspired literally thousands of students to dream big and to work to make those dreams a reality.

  • devries

    Lisa DeVries

    BS, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
    MS, Columbia Southern University

    As a child, she put glow-in-the-dark stars on her ceiling and dreamed of working in the space program. As a teenager, she attended Space Academy® and began a hot pursuit of her childhood dream. As a young adult, she continued that pursuit and shared her love of space as an Advanced Space Academy® Crew Trainer. Today, after having served ten years as a member of Space Operations Safety with the Space Shuttle Program at the Kennedy Space Center, Lisa DeVries is working with the Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program as the Lead Safety Engineer responsible for supporting upgrades to the Crawler Transporters. Wife and mother of two, Lisa has realized the dream…she has been among the last to leave the launch pad prior to each shuttle mission, one of the first on the runway upon the shuttle’s return, and now supporting upgrades at the Kennedy Space Center for NASA’s next space program. As the voice that gives the safety “go-no go” for Launch Control, DeVries is living her dream.

  • vazzo

    Vincent Vazzo

    BS, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

    An eight-time Space Camp® trainee, former counselor and current volunteer, Vincent Vazzo could have been inducted into the Hall of Fame in any of the three nominee categories. Vincent, the brain and energy behind the original, unofficial Space Camp social network, Hab1.com, never veered from the path to making the space program his career. Vincent spent the final years of the Space Shuttle Program working for United Space Alliance (USA) as part of the Engineering Photographic Analysis Team at the Marshall Space Flight Center, writing software and analyzing launch footage. Today, he is back at NASA working on engineering software with Optical Sciences Corporation (OSC).

  • Smith

    MAJ. Phillip A. "Ritz" Smith

    BS, U.S. Air Force Academy

    Although an alumnus of Space Camp, Florida, and Space Academy® at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Phillip Smith found his calling somewhere between Earth and space. The would-be astronaut pursued a career in military aviation and landed what may be the dream job of many a young man or woman. Major Smith was an F-15E pilot stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. After serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom – and not satisfied with just any dream job, Major Smith secured perhaps the ultimate dream job. He served as the Air Combat Command Strike Eagle Demonstration Team pilot and Commander spending his days showcasing America’s F-15E Strike Eagle to more than seven million people across the world. There is no doubting the accomplishments of Major Phillip A. “Ritz” Smith as he is only the second Air Force pilot ever chosen to be a demo pilot for this amazing machine.

  • Whitefield

    Spc. Josh Whitfield, Ret.

    Josh Whitfield was an all-American boy growing up playing football, baseball and golf, but it would be his long-held fascination for the military and aviation that led him to become an Aviation Challenge® trainee – 13 times. As a trainee, Josh earned the coveted Right Stuff Award five times and twice won the Top Gun Award. However, it is Army Specialist Whitfield’s valor and service that have earned him his spot in the Hall of Fame. As a gunner on one of the Army’s Stryker armored combat vehicles, Josh was twice injured during firefights to liberate the area of Hadar in the Iraq War. Today, Josh has come back home to Aviation Challenge as a counselor. He returns as a Bronze Star recipient… and a true American Hero.