Having subjected you in my last post to a fund raising commercial for a Space Camp trip, I suppose I should offer an update. While we didn’t manage to raise the full amount necessary, we did raise enough to allow the group to go, with a promise to raise the rest of the money this spring. (Stay tuned for more important fund raising messages!)
The trip lasted from April 13th through the 18th. Isabella had a great time, and came home with hours of stories about the simulated shuttle missions they ran, the training they went through, and plenty of trivia about the Space Shuttle, the Saturn V and the upcoming Ares launch vehicle. Naturally enough, her favorite part was the training, mostly because large parts of the training were g-force and launch practice. Amusement park rides aside, she did really enjoy the rest of the experience. She had fun with the experiments they ran, and worked hard at all of the simulations. She capped it all off by winning the ‘Right Stuff’ award, for which I’m very proud of her. (I’m not sure where she gets her optimism and drive. If I’d gone to Space Camp when I was her age, I’d have probably received an award for “Most Complaints About Factual Inaccuracies” or something like that.)
Aside from being proud, I’ll also admit to being fairly jealous. I was just a couple of years older than Isabella when I first heard of Space Camp via the classic 80s science show 3-2-1 Contact. Unlike Isabella, who is interested in doing everything, I spent my elementary school years firmly committed to becoming either an astronaut or astronomer. At the time, there weren’t any organizations like Reach For The Stars around, so the prospect of actually being able to go to Space Camp were somewhat less than my prospects of going to the moon.
I’m really happy that Isabella was able to go, and am grateful to all the people at Reach For The Stars who work so hard every year to send so many kids on such a great trip. With any luck, we’ll be able to work with them again to get the others down to Huntsville in the future . . .