I was very lucky to win a competition which meant I went to Space Camp at Camp KSC in Florida for a week! I absolutely loved it. Here are my highlights for each day.
Day 1: Micro Gravity Wall
The wall looked like a normal ladder, but once I had climbed to the top a staff member did some weird thing involving weights and I ended up being able to float up and down the ladder. It was an amazing experience.
Day 2: Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center
We learnt lots about, and then saw the actual Atlantis Space Shuttle. It was huge! After that we went on a ride that simulated the launch of the spacecraft, which was so much fun. We also heard a speech from legendary astronaut Tom Jones who has been in space four times. There were loads of things we learnt about such as meteorites, planets and astronauts. It was a great day, despite it being burning hot outside.
Day 3: The Mission
We were all given roles to play such as Commander, Pilot or a person from Mission Control. The non-moving simulator was incredibly big because it had several rooms. The simulation provided us with the feeling of a successful mission to launch a rocket into space. We were all given things to say and buttons to press. My character didn’t have many lines or things to do but I still really enjoyed it anyway.
Day 4: The Multi Axis Trainer
The Multi Axis Trainer or as the kids like to call it “the spinny ball of death” is a large simulator that can hold two people. It spins you in all directions, and you feel like you are inside a rocket when it spins out of control. The simulator was amazing and was by far my favourite part of camp, even though I did get a bit dizzy.
Day 5: The Trajectory Chair
The trajectory chair has two connected seats that spin around. Me and my partner had to throw and catch as many balls and frisbees as we could. It was extremely difficult because when I threw a ball to my partner he would have already moved on, and the ball would fall into an empty space. It was much harder than it looked and it was super fun.
I learnt loads at my week at camp. Here are my top three facts.
1. Once an astronaut was eating m&ms. He ate something that he thought was a brown m&m but in fact it was something else. Now NASA never sends brown m&ms into space any more.
2. The amazing Space Shuttle Atlantis launches as a rocket and lands as an aeroplane.
3. When one of the first people ever was going into space there was a lot of delays. After an hour of problems the astronaut inside the rocket needed a wee but NASA said he would have to hold it in. Another hour went by and still the rocket had not launched. Now the astronaut was desperate for a wee and asked “why can’t I go to the toilet?” NASA said “because we would have to start up the engine all over again, that would waste fuel.” Another hour of delays passed and the astronaut questioned “can I do a wee in my suit?” NASA replied “no, your suit has lots of wires in it, you would get electrocuted.” At the end of another 60 minutes NASA turned off the power and let him pee in his suit but because he was in launch position lying down the yellow liquid spread over his suit and he went and came down from space covered in wee.
I loved Space Camp – it really was the trip of a lifetime.
Read about my dad’s day trip to Kennedy Space Center and what he would recommend you should do if you visit.