FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Great Galactic Getaways

by Debra Bokur

Dec 4, 2017

© Robin Runck | Dreamstime


At the U.S. Space & Rocket Center campus in Huntsville, Ala., and at Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral on Florida’s east coast, you can launch your kids (or yourself!) on a journey (at least in theory) to the moon and back, let them plan an expedition to Mars or test themselves to see if they have what it takes to explore the universe.

Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Photo: Jose Ramos | Dreamstime

Camp Kennedy Space Center at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Mission logistics:

Dates are available in spring and summer for weeklong programs. New opportunities include the ATX (Astronaut Training Experience) Center, an educational complex with simulators and other virtual and physical experiences.


Who can go:

Children in grades two to 11. English language proficiency is a requirement.


What they’ll do:

Though program details are constantly evolving — due in large part to the fact the location is an actual, working space flight facility — participants will take part in educator-led activities such as gathering data that will be delivered to NASA scientists, enjoy programs that delve into living and working on Mars and in space and delve into science and engineering projects appropriate to the ages of camp groups. Campers will build and launch rockets, engage in a simulated space shuttle mission and train on the Multi-Axis Trainer. Older campers can test themselves in zero gravity conditions while climbing the micro-gravity wall.


Where they’ll stay:

Lodging is not provided on site.


What they’ll eat:

Campers supply their own food, except for daily afternoon snacks throughout, plus pizza on day three of the program.


US Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.

Mission logistics:

Introductory and Advanced Space Academy camps last six days; single-day camps, Aviation Challenges and three-day family space camp programs are available January through November.

Space Camp, George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Photo: Americanspirit | Dreamstime

Who can go:

Ages nine and up can attend. Campers are sorted by age group: 9–11, 12–14, 15–18; plus ages 19 and up in adult-specific programs at Adult Space Academy.


What they’ll do:

Activities vary by age group and whether campers are first-timers or return participants. Entry-level activities for first-time younger campers include learning about life onboard the International Space Station, building and launching model rockets and taking part in astronaut training on the 1/6th Gravity Chair and the Multi-Axis Trainer. Older and return participants can fly jet aircraft simulators; help prepare for theoretical extended stays on Mars; learn valuable team-building skills on the Area 51 Challenge Course; design, build and launch a team rocket; and even experience neutral buoyancy in the Underwater Astronaut Trainer.


Where they’ll stay:

Sleeping arrangements for space camp trainees are located on site, in three separate dormitory-style “habitats” also arranged by age. Adult camp leaders are on duty from 10 p.m. each night until 6 a.m. the following morning. Gender-specific rest rooms include private showers. For family groups, hotel accommodations are available at the nearby Huntsville Marriott, conveniently located within the U.S. Space & Rocket Center campus.


What they’ll eat:

No one will go hungry, with a range of dishes at breakfast, lunch and dinner that include vegetarian options. Four food stations operate at each meal, with an expansive salad bar with fresh produce, a dessert bar with fruit and sweet choices, side dishes that include a variety of vegetables and an entrée line with hot and cold dishes that range from pizza to roast chicken. Fun fact: At least 600 12-inch pizzas are cooked each week, while the facility also grows and serves lettuces and herbs grown in its own in-house aeroponic gardens.


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