July 8, 2016 – Two Colorado students were among sixteen explorers that began their journey into the future this week in the Rocket City. The students — recipients of an Air, Space, and Missile Defense Association (ASMDA) scholarship — spent July 3-8 at Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
During the week, the students participated in activities including rocket construction and launch, water activities, a simulated Space Shuttle mission, Mars mission simulators, Manned Maneuvering Unit, Multi-Axis Trainer, and an IMAX movie.
“I have enjoyed my time at Space Camp,” said Kira Bailey from Colorado. “The missions are great because you get to start out on the space shuttle and go to the International Space Station to experiment. I was a payload specialist and it was exciting.
The students were selected for the scholarship based on an essay, school grades, interest in science and space, and financial need. The scholarship covers one week at Space Camp, travel, a flight suit, clothing package, a calling card and spending money.
On July 6, the scholarship winners were treated to lunch by members of the ASMDA board and had a chance to speak with those who made the week possible.
Col. Thomas Nguyen, chief of staff, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, told the students they may someday be the ones leading America on its journey into space.
“I am sure you have all heard of NASA’s Juno Satellite,” Nguyen said. “Juno has been on a journey for five years to get to Jupiter and as of two days ago it finally arrived. We go to places like Jupiter because it is in our human nature to explore and to find out answers to tough questions about life, our planet, our solar system and our universe. We have an innate drive to understand, to expand our horizons, to quench our curiosity and fulfill our desire for knowledge.”
Since 1996, ASMDA has awarded scholarships to children, ages 9-11, of a parent or guardian currently assigned to the USASMDC/ARSTRAT; Program Executive Office, Missiles and Space; Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense; Missile and Space Intelligence Center; NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; or Missile Defense Agency, whether military or government civilian.
The 16 Space Camp students this year were from Madison, Gurley and Huntsville, Alabama; Fort Greely and Delta Junction, Alaska; Peyton and Colorado Springs, Colorado; Omaha, Nebraska; Alexandria, Virginia; and Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. They are: Regan Caple, Jennifer Hamm, Braeden Hayes, Skylar Hayes, Paul Lee, Porter Mroszczyk, Matthew Snodgrass, Aleksandar Vukosavljevic, Joshua Brower, Julianna Williams, Kira Bailey, Trystan Hartzell, Maya Yee, Thomas von Ahlefeld, Ava Moore and Kendal Warren.