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    Dr. Wernher von Braun

    Technical University of Berlin, Charlottenburg

    Inspired by the science fiction of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, Dr. Wernher von Braun studied the works of German Rocketeer, Herman Oberth, to make science fact out of science fiction. Dr. von Braun was the leader of the German Rocket Team that was brought to America following WWII and directed the efforts of the scientists and engineers that put mankind on the moon, forever marking his spot in world history as the Father of Manned Space Flight. The original Director of NASA and the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Dr. von Braun knew that America and the world would need a new generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers to ensure the continuation of his dream of manned travel beyond the moon. It was this knowledge along with Dr. von Braun’s rare combination of scientific genius, marketing savvy and personal charisma that allowed him to envision and plant the seed that would grow into the world’s most recognized museum education program – Space Camp®.

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    Edward O. Buckbee

    P.I. Reed School of Journalism, West Virginia University

    Selected by Wernher von Braun in 1970 to serve as the first Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center®, former NASA Public Affairs Officer, Edward O. Buckbee, has forever changed the face of Museum Education. In addition to assembling and managing the world’s largest space history museum and rocket collection, Buckbee brought to life von Braun’s vision by founding Space Camp and later its sister program, Aviation Challenge®. Buckbee has spent more than 40 years championing all things space. Since retiring from the USSRC in 1994, Buckbee has continued that effort as an author, lecturer and full-time space advocate working tirelessly to increase the public’s understanding of America’s role in the development of technology.

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    Georg von Tiesenhausen

    Hamburg University

    Born to German-Scottish parents, Dr. Georg von Tiesenhausen was more than a witness to history…he was one of its designers. Dr. von Tiesenhausen joined von Braun’s Rocket Team in 1943 and immediately became one of its most important members. He continued that role at NASA and, more than 20 years after his retirement, NASA still uses many of the components he designed. However, it is what he’s done since his retirement that has made him one of the most cherished and integral parts of Space Camp – past and present. Dr. von T, as he is affectionately known to thousands of students from around the world, has spent more than 22 consecutive years volunteering as a guest lecturer at Space Camp. A gifted teacher, Dr. von T is able to discuss such subjects as the time-space continuum so that even the youngest student understands and appreciates the lesson. Space Camp has no greater friend than Dr. Georg von Tiesenhausen.

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    Dan Oates

    BS, Fairmont State College / M.Ed, University of Pittsburgh

    As the heart, soul and mind of Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students (SCIVIS), Dan Oates is more than a “friend” to Space Camp – he is a champion. For 25 years, Oates has surrendered his summers and his free time to bring to life this very special program. With a gift for drawing into his world the very best in the field of education for blind and visually impaired students, Dan has enlisted an army of teachers and specialist to make SCIVIS possible. With their help, SCIVIS continues to attract more and more students from all over the world. Today, more than 3,500 students have attended SCIVIS. Dan is retired from the West Virginia School for the Blind and works during the summer as an Education Program Manager to educate teachers at Space Camp.

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    Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger

    Whitman College

    Although a trip to Space Academy® at the age of 14 opened up a world of possibilities for Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, it was a question from one of her 8th grade astronomy students that really changed her life. It was the age-old question of “how do astronauts use the bathroom in space,” that led the young teacher to NASA’s website where the Educator Astronaut position had just been posted. Metcalf-Lindenburger had long been a science enthusiast and considers herself a sort of teacher for all people; the opportunity could not have been more perfect. So when she was selected as the youngest member of the 2004 Educator Astronaut Candidate Class, it was literally a dream come true. After completion of her astronaut training, Dottie was assigned to the STS-131 crew and flew to the International Space Station on the Space Shuttle Discovery in April 2010 – exactly twenty years to the month after graduating from Space Academy. Dottie is the first Space Camp graduate to reach space.

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    Dr. Jim Rice

    BS, University of Alabama, MS, Northeast Louisiana University, Ph.D, Arizona State University

    Believing that exploration is the lifeblood of a civilization, Astrogeologist Dr. Jim Rice has always interested in science and the history’s great explorers. Today, he is both…scientist and explorer. Rice started his journey as a Space Camp® counselor in 1985 and used his location and passion to endear himself to a group of Marshall Space Flight Center engineers. The engineers did more than befriend Rice; they helped him obtain an internship with NASA in which he helped select a landing site for a project that would send the first robot to Mars. Today, in addition to being an Associate Project Scientist on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission, Dr. Rice is a Science Team Member for Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and is the man behind the camera onboard Mars Odyssey – targeting the camera and analyzing the fantastic photos that are returned. Dr. Jim Rice spends his days, literally, looking for life on Mars.

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    Amanda Stubblefield

    BS, Vanderbilt University
    MAS, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

    A former trainee and Crew Trainer (1995 - 2000), Amanda Stubblefield went from training students at Space Camp® and Aviation Challenge® to training astronauts at NASA's Johnson Space Center. It was the 1983 launch of Sally Ride on Challenger that sparked her dreams and sealed her fate. Stubblefield has realized those dreams, working with nearly all crew members flying to ISS. In her time at NASA, she has trained crews and flight controllers to operate science experiments, life support systems and thermal equipment, and respond to spacecraft emergencies such as fires and cabin depressurization. She has also served as a certified ETHOS (Environmental and THermal Operating Systems) flight controller in ISS mission control. Most recently, Amanda has become an instructor and certified OSO (Operations Support Officer) flight controller responsible for helping ISS crews execute routine preventative maintenance as well as perform troubleshooting and repairs for unexpected failures on systems ranging from the toilet, to life support equipment, to the onboard computers and everything in between.

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    Penny J. Pettigrew

    BS, Colorado School of Mines
    MS, University of Alabama Huntsville

    Penny Pettigrew has always been interested in the space program but freely admits she had no idea what she wanted to do with her chemistry degree until she attended Space Camp®. She never thought of working for NASA and considered the space agency as a place reserved for astronauts only, but a trip to the Adult Space Camp program while still in college opened a world of new possibilities. Penny has supported several different projects at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center including the design of the Materials Science Research Rack, a science facility on board the ISS and NASA’s Ares Rocket Program where she served as the First Stage Systems Engineering and Integration Lead. However, Penny has found her true passion in her current position where she serves as a Space Station Payloads Communications Manager (PAYCOM) which really means she is one of the few people in the world who gets to talk to the astronauts who are living and working on the International Space Station to assist them with their daily science activities. Penny still credits Space Camp for providing the best training for her current position.