My name is Tyler Gardner. I was featured on the Utah State Office of Education’s blog back in August for receiving a scholarship to NASA’s Space Camp. This is a follow up post on my experience at Space Camp in Alabama.
To start off, let me talk some about the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for those of you less familiar with it. “Home to Space Camp, and Aviation Challenge; The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is recognized as one of the most comprehensive U.S. manned space flight hardware museums in the world. Facilities [there] include Spacedome Theater, Rocket Park, the Education Training Center, which houses NASA’s Educator Resource Center, and more” (USSRC website). For anyone who loves technology, NASA, or space, the USSRC is an amazing place to visit even if you just walk around the museum and rocket park.
Much of the magic of Space Camp, however, comes not only from the space travel history around you, but from those things which you get to experience in the simulators.
You also get the opportunity to familiarize yourself with Mercury and Apollo program astronaut training (or maybe it’s just to have fun!).
Those who chose to take the Mission Specialist track have the opportunity to scuba dive in the Underwater Astronaut Trainer.
Pilot Track campers fly fighter jet simulators and experience elevated g-forces in the centrifuge.
Most of us know Area 51 as a mysterious military base somewhere in the deserts of Nevada. Area 51, as far as Space Camp goes, is a team building ropes course used to teach teamwork and leadership. At Area 51, I participated in multiple activities which included a 50 foot rock wall and a 30 foot panic pole. Amazingly, I made it to the top of both of those!
Both the rock wall and the panic pole build trust between team members. While climbing the pole or rock wall, you are hooked on to one end of a belay line. This safety line literally feels like a lifeline as you reach the top of the pole or wall. On the other end of this lifeline are your teammates, making sure you don’t fall. This means that the whole team has to work together to get every member up the pole and wall safely.
Area 51’s 50 foot rock wall! It’s higher than you think…
I had a great time at Space Camp, and I am very grateful that Gay Beck gave me the opportunity to go to Space Camp!
For others who have spent the time reading this post and who have dreams that may seem impossible to reach, never stop shooting for the stars! One way or another, your dream can indeed come true!
For more space camp posts go to: http://voyagerslog.blogspot.com/2012/06/back-to-earth-from-space-camp.html