Itinerary Day By Day
DAY 1 ASTRONAUT TRAINING EXPERIENCE (ATX) (B, L)
Campers will start their day with an orientation briefing and will then divide into training squads. Each squad will train in three areas: Launch Operations, Mars Operations, and Microgravity Operations.
For the Launch training, campers will complete two missions: each camper will be assigned a position in Mission Control for one mission, and in the spacecraft for a second mission. In both cases, the teams of 12 will be scored on their ability to work together to launch and dock their spacecraft while dealing with one or more emergencies.
In the Mars Operations training area, campers will take turns landing on Mars and driving on Mars in full-motion simulators (a non-motion version is available for those who prefer a less dynamic experience) and walking on Mars using virtual reality equipment. Throughout these experiences, campers will guide one another through the steps needed to complete each challenge.
Finally, campers will strap in to our one-of-a-kind microgravity chairs to fully experience the sensation of working in a frictionless environment, as each team collaborates to make repairs to an orbital truss.
Campers will take a break for lunch in the Astronaut Training (ATX) Mess Hall. They will also participate in interactive briefings about living and working in space and on Mars. At the end of the day, campers will enjoy a snack and debriefing before being dismissed for the day.
DAYS 2 MARS BASE 1 (B, L)
Campers will be transported to Mars for a day of activities on the Red Planet. Time will be spent in the Base Operations Centre, where campers will work together to sustain the health and safety of the Base following the crash landing of an unmanned supply ship.
Using a unique computer simulation system, campers will handle communications both on- and off-planet, collect and analyse satellite images, create maps, program robotic rovers to complete rescue missions, dispatch emergency crews to make repairs, and handle any other problems that may arise from the crash.
In the Engineering Lab they will program and operate a swarm of robots to clear debris from solar panels, generating power for the base. They will also participate in real-time NASA research in our Plant Lab, which is affiliated with NASA’s Food Production program, growing a variety of vegetables using the latest indoor gardening techniques
Campers will take a break for lunch, where they will dine on Earthling-friendly food in the Mars Base 1 Mess Hall. At the end of the day, campers will fly back to Earth for a snack and debriefing before being dismissed for the day
DAY 3 KENNEDY SPACE CENTRE (B, L)
Campers will spend today exploring Kennedy Space Centre, the only place on earth from which human beings have launched to set foot on the Moon.
First, campers will board KSC buses for a tour of the area surrounding the launch pads. They will then proceed to the Apollo/Saturn V Center to learn about the programs NASA has created to allow humanity to move beyond Earth’s gravity into deep space.
Campers will take a break for lunch in the Moon Rock Cafe. After lunch, they will again board buses for a return to the Visitor Complex, where they will gain a better understanding of NASA’s ongoing commitment to both environmental stewardship and global technology through guided interactive tours, scavenger hunts, and simulators. Some of the activity areas* include the Rocket Garden, Journey to Mars, Shuttle Launch Experience, and the exhibits in the Space Shuttle Atlantis building. Campers will also have the opportunity to meet a veteran astronaut.
At the end of the day campers will enjoy a snack and debriefing before being dismissed for the day (5-day program) or receiving their program completion certificates in a closing ceremony (3-day program).
DAYS 4 & 5 ENGINNERING CHALLENGES (B, L)
Campers will spend these days completing a variety of hands-on engineering design challenges appropriate to their grade level.
After receiving basic instruction in one or more engineering principles, campers will work in teams to follow the Engineering Design Process (ask, imagine, plan, create, test, revise) to solve each of their assigned challenges.
Specific challenges will vary from year to year but may include building a model spacecraft that can withstand impact and land on a target, constructing a rover that can travel a straight-line distance, launching a rocket using only non-flammable propellants, creating a spacesuit that will protect an astronaut from the hazards of space, building a sturdy Mars habitat using nothing but paper and tape, using K’nex rods to build a truss bridge that will support weights, etc.
Campers will take a break for lunch in the Outer Orbit annex. At the end of the day, campers will enjoy a snack and debriefing before being dismissed for the day (Day 4) or receiving their program completion certificates in a closing ceremony (Day 5)