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Wednesday February 25th, 2009

Shuttle Camp 2009 Launches March 2!

Some cadets want to be astronauts when they grow up. Some want to be scientists. Some just want to enjoy the fun of "Shuttle Camp", where there's always a model rocket to launch! This year, two additional weeks have been added to the program giving families a total of ten weeks to choose from. Weeklong summer sessions begin June 1, 2009, and continue through August 3. Registration begins March 2 and parents are encouraged to register early to make sure they get the week they want. There is a ten dollar discount for registering prior to May 1st. Active military receive a 15% discount.

For twenty-three years, children from across the country and from as far away as New Zealand and Europe have blasted off at "Shuttle Camp", the New Mexico Museum of Space History's premier education program. "Shuttle Camp" began in 1986 as a summer program for local Alamogordo kids and has grown into an exciting adventure for kids from all over the world. In 2008, 640 cadets attended "Shuttle Camp", making it the highest attended program in the past ten years.

"The youngest cadets, entering kindergarten or first grade, often have seen little beyond the backyard that is their community," said Museum Education Specialist Michael Shinabery. As Pioneers, youth are encouraged to "look up" to understand how their world interacts with the world past the horizon, and the universe beyond.

Whether it's exploring the forces of gravity, learning how to overcome the challenges of eating, sleeping and working in space (where everything floats), designing a rocket or astronaut training deep underground in Fort Stanton Caves, "Shuttle Camp" cadets are in for an adventure they'll never forget!

World famous astronomer Dr. Alan Hale joins the visiting staff this year. Co-discoverer of Come Hale-Bopp and founder of the Earthrise Institute, Hale brings his expertise to this year's astronomy programs. Telescope construction, night sky viewing and computer assisted directional mapping will open a new universe for cadets.

Staff and consultants from Spaceport America, the nation's first purpose built spaceport being constructed north of Las Cruces, will also join visiting staff. Special programs studying the future of space exploration will inspire young minds to aspire for a career that's literally "out of this world".

The "Shuttle Camp" learning experience features New Mexico's first STEMs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) based program, with embedded state standards and benchmarks. The program curriculum meets or exceeds current legislative educational requirements while the hands on experiences truly make learning fun.

Sessions are offered as both day camp programs and overnight (residential) programs, which include housing, 24-hour supervision, special evening activities and meals. Tuition ranges from $95 for half-day programs to $495 for overnight sessions. Tuition includes a T-shirt, field trips, class supplies, rocket building supplies, and other fees associated with the NM Museum of Space History.

"Shuttle Camp" fills up quickly each summer and early registration is encouraged as classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact the New Mexico Museum of Space History Education Department at 1-575-437-2840, 1-877-333-6589 (toll free). The NM Museum of Space History is a Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

For detailed Shuttle Camp® information, please visit

IMAGE: (Navigator Class – Looking Up) 2008 Cadets