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July 2001

Dear Journal,

Gymnastics Camp

The week of the 9th to the 13th I went to gymnastics camp at Broadway.  We did gymnastics for 6 hours a day.  Our first competitive meet is going to be in August. 

Me at gymnastics camp

The Venus group

Space CampSpace Camp logo

From Friday the 20th to Sunday the 22nd Dad and I went to Space Camp.  Space Camp is held at Cape Kennedy.  We stayed in dormitories.  They put us into teams of 5 or 6 pairs.  (Most groups had 6, but we only had 5.)  The groups were named after planets.  We were the Venus group.  Each group trains together and had a team counselor.


On Friday we spent the day at Cape Kennedy.  We took the bus tour and watched an IMAX movie.  Then we went back to camp for dinner.  After dinner we built a model rocket.  Then we got our scripts and our mission training.  There was a replica of a space shuttle and of mission control.  Our scripts were kind of like a script for a play, with what each person said and did.  For mission training we learned how to work the radios and where the buttons were that we would have to push.  Then we went to bed.  Me and Dad slept in different rooms because they had girl and boy rooms.

Me and Dad building our rocket
Me on the SSMT


The next morning we had breakfast.  Then our group went to launch our rockets.  We got judged on 4 things: if it went off the launch pad, if the parachute opened up, if the parachute stayed attached, if the parachute stayed in a mushroom shape and slowed to rocket down.  All of the rockets in our group did all 4, but one landed in a tree! 

Then we did some training.  Our first was the SSMT, where they strapped you into a chair and you ran around a circle, even going upside-down.


Next was our first mission.  For our first mission we were in mission control.  Each mission lasted about an hour.  Since we only had 5 pairs instead of 6, me and Dad got picked to play two parts!  I was INCO and the Principle Investigator.  Dad was the the GCO (Ground Control Officer) and the Mission Scientist.  It was really fun.

Which button am I supposed to push?
He floats thru the air...


After our first mission, we had lunch then we did some more training.  On the zero gravity wall, we got hooked up in a harness that was attached to weights.  They weighed us and hooked up the same amount of weights to the other side, so we were balanced.  Then you climbed up the wall and could let go and float!

Then we went to a computer lab and built our own space station.  Then it was time for mission B.


On mission B we were in the shuttle.  I got to be the commander and Dad got to be the pilot!  The commander had the most to do.  There were a lot of buttons and switches to push!  Dad was pretty busy being the pilot too!  After our mission we went to dinner.

Houston, we have a problem!


After dinner it was back to astronaut training.  We went in the MASTIF (Multiple Axis Spin Test Inertia Facility).  They strapped you into the seat and then spun you around on three different wheels.  This was the same simulator I did when our gifted class came here for a field trip, but it was even more fun this time.  (Yes, Dad did it too!)

Then there was a strange science show that night before bed.


On Sunday morning after breakfast, we did the T-chair.  Two people sit on each side and it spins around.  Then you try to throw and catch a ball while spinning around.  We didn't do too good. 

Then we toured the Astronaut Hall of Fame.  After that, there was a trivia contest, and our group tied for first place.  Then it was graduation time.

Catch it Dad!
My diploma


During graduation, we received diplomas and they awarded a prize for three things: the best group for Mission A, the best group for Mission B, and the best group for rockets.  We won the best group for rockets because all of our groups rockets did all 4 things.

Space Camp was awesome

The rest of July

The rest of July I spent playing with friends and hanging out with Mom during the day.  Mom spent a lot of her time working on our vacation scrapbook.

Gee Mom, are you having fun?