is the ultimate destination for kids with stars (and planets) in their eyes who want to learn all about space travel. However, since the , youngsters wanting to train to become future astronauts have had to stay home.
Space Camp — hosted at the US Space & Rocket Center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama — has for 38 years educated and inspired students from all over the world, but now it’s in trouble due to loss of profits from having to close its doors to visitors during the quarantine.
“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen a dramatic reduction in attendance at the US Space and Rocket Center museum and Space Camp, leading to a significant decrease in revenue and operating capital,” the crowdfunding page stated. “With limited admission from international students and school groups this fall and winter, we’re forced to close our weeklong camp programs again until April 2021. These ongoing challenges have meant a devastating loss of two-thirds of our revenue.”
The Space Camp started a crowdfunding campaign in hopes of raising $1.5 million to help pay for operating costs while the coronavirus lockdown continues. The US Space and Rocket Center and Space Camp aren’t federally funded and are ineligible for state or local financial relief, so the money will need to be raised, or both will be forced to close this October.
“The coronavirus pandemic has devastated our revenue stream, and without your support, we’re on a trajectory to have to close the doors of the US Space and Rocket Center Museum, Space Camp, and its sister programs sometime in October of this year,” Space and Rocket Center Education Foundation chair Ben Chandler said in a video posted on July 27. “Raising the funds would allow the camp to remain open through spring of next year, just in time for what organizers hope is a busy, pandemic-cleared summer attendance season.”
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal, it will not only save Space Camp but also the US Space and Rocket Center itself, which is a popular tourist destination for space lovers. So far, the crowdfunding campaign has raised $549,021 of $1,500,000 goal.
This Space Camp isn’t just a fun way to spend the summer; it can inspire kids to pursue careers with NASA. The astronauts Sandra Magnus, Robert Hines, Kate Rubins, and Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger have all attended Space Camp.