Okay, so, it’s a bit of hyperbole, but this really pisses me off!
One of the coolest places (and one I’ve never gotten to go to, damn it) is about to close due to lack of money. It rates a tiny, little blurb on CNN’s web site. Fuckers. You can bet if it were a baseball camp, or other sports camp, there’d be banner fucking headlines and people screaming about how horrible it was that the place was going under. But Space Camp? Ah, who gives a shit? Me, that’s who! I give a shit! I care about the place! It’s a great idea. Sports camps are fine, but odds are, if you go to sports camp, you’re probably not going to pick up the desire to get a high paying job in a technical field. You might, but probably not. At Space Camp, kids get to play with really high tech stuff, and that could make some kid want to be an engineer, doctor, or whatever.
Stupid, stupid, stupid! The place is probably going to die (just like the space program is slowly doing) and few people will mourn the loss.
“The nation that turns inward is doomed to decline.” JFK.
Well, I agree with you, and vaguely with this post’s sentiment, Tuckerfan.
As an ex-NASA contractor of many years standing, with a Space Camp right outside our gates as I drove in every morning, I must say that no one I knew at the center, nor their children had been to Space Camp. (Well, maybe a couple odd types.) It was regarded as a sort of frowsy government Disneyland.
People who join NASA (or their contractors) often have made their minds up many, many years before on the basis of NASA accomplishments, books, movies, teachers, and articles that excited them. For myself, as soon as I heard about the Space Station, I immediately wanted out of my job. What I wanted was to work at NASA. Under any terms.
Having worked for one of the astronaut “cowgirls” before she went up into space, I can tell you that NOTHING would stop that woman. She surely didn’t go to Space Camp. She didn’t need it.
In all honesty, I think it was a PR idea that limped.
There’s still the original in Huntsville, AL. Local news reports, in the the wake of the Florida Space Camp closing, say that it is in good financial shape and is experiencing it’s best attendence levels since 1999.
Of course it didn’t get the same amount of coverage. Sports usually triumphs science and academics in news coverage. “Local boy commits to Notre Dame” always gets bigger play than “Local boy wins academic scholarship to Harvard” in the press.
Besides you could always save up your money and buy your way into space with the Russians. How long could it take to save up $20 million?