EFE / Huntsville, EE. UU
When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut, something that many children say and only some achieve. However, all those who dream of going to space can recreate it in the Space Camp, a children's camp in the United States devoted entirely to traveling beyond the Earth.
The simulation of space missions, the training as NASA astronauts do or the emotion of a countdown before the launch are some of the experiences that crazy short stories with stratospheric ambitions can enjoy in the Space Camp, which since 1982 is in a city of Alabama called Huntsville.
Although it does not have the fame of Houston or Cape Caaveral, Huntsville also has a great aerospace history, to the point that its nickname is The Rocket City.
It was in Huntsville that Wernher von Braun designed the Saturn V rocket, used, for example, in the mission Apollo XI to reach the Moon for the first time and also in this city with an important scientific activity is the Marshall Space Flight Center of NASA
Space Camp is located next to the Space Center and Rocket of the United States, a NASA museum in the conquest of space with a huge Saturn V that presides over the central hall.
National Geographic, which on November 12 opens the second season of the Mars series in a hypothetical colonization of the red planet, invited a group of media, including EFE, to visit the facilities of the Space Camp to see how children learn while playing , on the riddles of space.
Therefore, the little ones, in the blue NASA, as they were preparing to travel to the infinite and beyond, can take endless turns in the simulator of several axes or experience the gravity of the Moon thanks to a set of harnesses that allows them to almost float the air
The Space Camp program, with different plans for children younger than nine to 18 years old, also includes diving practice classes or scientific classes on how to build the best thermal insulation on a rocket.
The complete simulation of a space mission, from take-off to landing, is the culmination of training, where children must join so that everything happens according to the plan.
With positions from the commander of the ship to the flight director at the control center, participants recreate the mission, including scientific experiments or space trips.
And, since everything is a game, you can even laugh when someone launches the worst omen of a space trip: Houston, we have a problem.
After receiving 800 thousand people from 150 countries since it opened its doors, according to the data of its leaders, the Space Camp, which also offers adult stays, places emphasis on teamwork and collaboration beyond races and nations, an approach that reminds Star Trek interstellar utopa.
I started to see the passion children have for science and space. But you also see how they work together () by combining, knowing themselves, finding their weaknesses and strengths and working as a team, said one of the instructors of Space Camp, Jillian Sweat.
Science and Mars
- Goal I believe that my generation plans to go to Mars and these children will be the generation that will take us there, so it is very important that they know what is being planned and that they are very enthusiastic, says Jillian Sweat.
- Science Mnica Araya, an expert in the fight against climate change and advises National Geographic on Mars, underlines the importance of disclosure so that science does not remain as a bubble of specialists.