My Space Camp Adventure

I always wanted to go to NASA’s Space Camp. As a kid, I saw the movie SpaceCamp and dreamed of one day being able to go and learn about astronaut training and missions first hand like the characters in the movie. Maybe I’d even end up in the cockpit of the Shuttle during an FRF (Flight Readiness Firing). No, that didn’t happen, but it was fun to dream about. And of course, I never thought I would get to actually go… but then it happened!

I got to go to Space Camp! I didn’t go as a trainee, but thanks to my good friend, JD Black, I was invited to Huntsville, Alabama as a guest author, along with Gene Kim, to see among other things, the US Space & Rocket Center campus and program. We had the privilege of talking to them about their mission, software development, reliability engineering, history and leadership. It was amazing. We toured the training facilities, explored the rocket engines, and spent time in the mock international space station watching the trainees learn to tackle real-world challenges through the application of science.

For my fellow science history nerds out there, we managed to get a behind the scenes tour with the archivist, looking at equipment, notes and design plans used in the Apollo program to get us to the Moon. We even got to see the slide rule and calculations used by Wernher von Braun to design the Saturn V launch vehicles! We went from that to the Artemis mission, the NASA program to take us back to the moon in 2024-2025 with the plans to have a sustainable presence on the moon by the end of the decade. It was an incredible experience.

To the moon!

This visit inspired and reminded me of the amazing things we can do when we pursue our dreams and work together to make it happen. As a species, humans are insatiably curious. We are restless. We love to explore. We can’t help but push boundaries and reset the impossible. We dream and take moon shots. We strive to go beyond ourselves and our own restrictions. No limits, no ceilings, no borders. We apply energy, passion and ambition to go where we have never gone before. To infinity… and beyond. I love human beings… and love being human!

Keep dreaming, keep going!

Jason Cox with Gene Kim and JD Black, attempting to operate the mock ISS at Space Camp

Jason Cox with JD Black and Gene Kim at U.S. Space & Rocket Center