Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Space Camp

Jonathan Schmidt, now 15, won a writing contest sponsored by the local IGA market and got to spend a week at NASA Space Camp in 2006. I invited him to write an article about that experience.

“Jonathan, someone is on the phone for you…” called my mother from the kitchen. I walked briskly across the concrete floor of the makeshift house that we were living in and answered the phone.

“Hello?” I said into the phone receiver, wondering who it was.

“Hi, I am calling from the IGA and you have just won the space camp writing contest.”

“REALLY!! That is awesome!!”

And so started my preparation for space camp, one whole week where I would be experiencing what it would be like to be an astronaut. Although the trip was not till August I was quite excited about flying to Alabama and even about just winning something in a contest! The rest of the year seemed to fly by until it was T-10 days. I gathered my stuff, prepared my books, and then the day came when I was to liftoff on my way to Huntsville, Alabama.

After many hugs and I Love Yous from my parents I set off with the group of other contest winners to our waiting room. At first I didn’t seem to fit in and the plane ride there was pretty lonely. After we got there we were initiated into the program, given our space suits and sent to unpack in our dorms. With the little space that was in the dorm room our stuff spilled out over the floor and soon it looked like my room in there.

The whole week was a blur of information, memories, and fun activities that I did with my new friend Daniel. During the day we would buy sodas, learn a bunch of stuff, go to some more parts of the camp and eat tater tots for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At night we would get into our bunks and use the flashes on our disposable cameras to blind each other while telling stories. The humidity and heat made it so that I only had to sleep in my blue space suit and so I kept it on all week and by the end was so comfortable in it that I didn’t want to take it off.

I learned many things but probably not as many as I could have because I concentrated more on having fun and exploring than learning information. I did learn about the Apollo missions and where Apollo 13 went wrong. They had a huge museum on different space missions, things such as the different probes that first traveled space.

Finally it was time to go and as we boarded the plane home I lovingly remembered my first out of state trip and still from this day look back on those fun filled days and think of the tater tots that I enjoyed.

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