Space CampAfter mentioning "astronaut camp" last week, several of you e-mailed to remind me that not only does a space camp exist, but I've even linked to it in the past.
Space Camp is at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and from the camp descriptions on the website, it's about a hundred different kinds of awesome. Plus, they have camps for adults.
Here's an excerpt from the camp Eli could go to when he's nine:
Space Camp uses space to excite and educate children ages 9-11 in the fields of math, science and technology. Teamwork, self-confidence and communication will be achieved through state-of-the-art simulations, missions, rocket building and robotics. Cost includes meals, lodging, materials and activities.
Everything you need to know about Space Shuttle Systems and life aboard the Orbiter and Space Station. Try out space food, learn to sleep in space and even how to go to the bathroom in space!
Astronaut training will continue on the Multi-Axis trainer that spins you all around, just like the Mercury Astronauts. You will take a turn on the 5-Degrees of Freedom Chair (it's like a chair floating on air) training just like the Gemini astronauts. Next, you will train like Apollo astronauts did for their trip to the moon by taking a walk in the 1/6th Gravity Chair! And finally, campers strap on our own version of a jet pack--an MMU, that's NASA talk for a Manned Maneuvering Unit--and maneuver around on a cushion of air. Campers will take time off from a busy training schedule for water activities, but not too much, because it's off to rocket construction to build and launch your own one-stage model rocket.
That's just the entry-level camp. There are two additional levels for older kids which include learning tracks for avation, space, and robotics.
I never thought I'd go to Huntsville, unless I was kidnapped, but I'm packing my bags and we can't even go for two more years.