2019?

The place where campers hang out after a long day in the sims.

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Re: 2019?

Postby majtom7 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:16 pm

I agree that the adult program content has declined and I have neither the time nor money to squander on another disappointing, frustrating, and, in a few ways, maddening experience. Yet at the same time, I am under some time pressure given Deby’s medical conditions. I have to go when I can and unfortunately, this camp is the only 2019 option. If I can find out the content, then I can make an informed decision and manage my expectations if I decide to enroll. If I cannot, then I’ll assume that it’s a repeat of your last camp, probably skip it, and hope for the best in 2020. LOL That’s what I did this year and look what it got me! :roll:

No USSRC reply as yet...
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Re: 2019?

Postby majtom7 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:21 pm

This is the response I received:

Hello Michael,

In response to your question about Adult Advanced Space Academy. It is based on the students version of Advanced Space Academy. It will have the same activities with the discussions and briefings being geared toward adults instead of the students.

Margie Phillips
Media Manager

This was my reply:

Will it have just 3 missions totaling 5 hours time like the 2018 advanced adult academy? Thank you.

When I sent my request, I told them that I was an 8 time adult camper. I feel that this reply completely ignored that and treated me like a dumb rookie. :twisted:
If it's the same camp, then why does it cost over 20% more? :!:
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Re: 2019?

Postby spacemanpic » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:38 am

Can I ask a silly question?
Where are you seeing the week long adult session in Nov? I'm not seeing it on the website?
Thanks.

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Re: 2019?

Postby blachwk » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:47 pm

spacemanpic wrote:Can I ask a silly question?
Where are you seeing the week long adult session in Nov? I'm not seeing it on the website?
Thanks.

- JP


It is not listed off of the 'main' Space Camp website or even via the drop down menu. You must click the 'book now' button on the website, then you login with your 'Mission Control' account, and go through your account like you are going to book a camp experience. When you select 'Adult Programs' for '2019' in the search box, it will list all of the Adult camps for 2019, which now shows the Advanced Adult Space Academy camp for 11/3 at $1449.00. I called 2 weeks ago to inquire about the Advanced Adult Space Academy and when it would be and was told that it would be posted any day now. I was also told that they had heard it was the first week in September based upon what they have seen around the office. I also heard the same thing shortly after when I re-called back to get contact information on custom / corporate camp information. I had a nice dialog with the lady who answered the phone for booking camps and was told that the discussion was that November may have been too late in the year and that some of the dates discussed were possibly too close to Thanksgiving to get a bigger turn out. I did express that not posting dates for the Advanced Adult Space Academy until later in the year could affect the turn out since many people use their vacation time earlier in the year or not know about such a camp experience with minimal advertising on the main website about Advanced Adult Space Academy vs Advanced Space Academy (15-18 year olds). The lady did mention that she received calls daily about dates for the Advanced Adult Space Academy and felt bad that she did not have an immediate date at the time but did reiterate to make sure I had an 'open September to be in Huntsville'. So it is quite interesting to have such a discussion, and then see this posted.
Last edited by blachwk on Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2019?

Postby spacemanpic » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:01 pm

Awesome, thanks for the info!

The wife and I are hoping to go back this year for another week long adventure. Last time we did a week was back in 2012.

Thanks again.
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Re: 2019?

Postby spacemanpic » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:15 pm

Hey Campers, I just talked to Carmen (at Space Camp), and she confirmed an adult Advanced Space Academy from 11/3-11/8.

Just thought I'd share. :)
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Re: 2019?

Postby airkale » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:28 pm

majtom7 wrote:This is the response I received:

Hello Michael,

In response to your question about Adult Advanced Space Academy. It is based on the students version of Advanced Space Academy. It will have the same activities with the discussions and briefings being geared toward adults instead of the students.

Margie Phillips
Media Manager

This was my reply:

Will it have just 3 missions totaling 5 hours time like the 2018 advanced adult academy? Thank you.

When I sent my request, I told them that I was an 8 time adult camper. I feel that this reply completely ignored that and treated me like a dumb rookie. :twisted:
If it's the same camp, then why does it cost over 20% more? :!:


I absolutely understand this viewpoint on the camp programs. When I was a kid, the curriculum, topics, and level of material was great. I had a great time every time I went to one of the camp programs. Now as an adult, there is no way that I could be satisfied with the missions at one of the camps. Even the most advanced. Now the other part of the experience is still great. I loved going back as an alumni. But the missions will never be challenging enough.

The big difference is that as an adult, I've done the real thing. I'm a pilot and have owned an airplane. I've been a procedural flight sim-er as well, and have learned how to fly any size airliner from a CRJ to a 747. I've flown in the real airliner million dollar flight sims a handful of times, and never needed someone to tell me how to operate the aircraft. So unfortunately, unless we blast back to the 80's and bring back the orbiter sims with all the real consoles and marry it up with current software and graphics, its just not going to live up to the experience we had when we were kids. It sucks, but I've given up re living that part of the experience.

Now if someone would be interested in getting one of the high fidelity sims rigged back up and plugging the hydraulics back in, like the old sims used to have (Discovery, Endeavour) and having a real time mission with all the switch throwing, that would be a mission! But I'm pretty sure the whole experience would simply revolve around just that one mission and you wouldn't get to have the other experiences that make camp great, too.

So I guess I've moved on from mission disappointment. Its still fun at camp. Maybe one day someone will buy the real sims from NASA, put them back in service and rent them out... Until then, try the airliner sims. If you go to Atlanta, the Delta museum has a 737 sim that you can rent for a descent price.
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Re: 2019?

Postby Hotdog » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:06 pm

An idea I had awhile back was to build my own Shuttle sim, similar to the Discovery or Endeavour we trained in at Space Academy back in the 80s and 90s. I'd use the free Orbiter sim as the basis for it, and purchase the readily available flat screen monitors for the windows and screens. Saitek makes a decent HOTAS and pedals, and I'd have the control panels laser cut. Since I don't really have a good spot for something like this in my house, my plan was to donate it to Space Camp on the condition that I could use it whenever I wanted (within reason, of course). My problem is, I don't know enough about programming or wiring to make the Orbiter software respond to commands from physical switches (Ardrino?), so I'd either have to learn a new skill set before I could get real about a project such as this, or enlist the help of a nerdier friend to do that part of the work for me.

There was talk of converting the old Discovery sim into a Dreamchaser sim a few years back, so perhaps this would be an opportunity we as alumni could take on ourselves and work with the Rocket Center on doing the conversion? That way, we could get a sim that's as real as we want, AND do something to give back and help the program. What do you think, guys? If there's enough interest, I might bring this up to the Alumni board during Summerfest. Could we do it?
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Re: 2019?

Postby airkale » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:45 pm

Hotdog is talking my language here! You know I wish I was smart enough to figure out a way to borrow all the old orbiter sims on the training floor before they did away with them. When I went back to my first alumni academy, thankfully they let all the alums just have our way and explore all the sims when we had free time. I got to go through all the orbiters and re-live the old days. I made sure to get in every sim too, even the ones I hadn't had a chance to use when I was a camper as a kid. I was lucky enough to be a MS in an Enterprise mission at the alum acad, so I got to ride on the RMS and service the satellite for the first time. I was actually glad to be an MS and not the CMDR or Pilot, because the sims were so dumbed down at this point, it would have been disappointing to be one of the flying crew members. The only thing I missed was the MMU arm on the Space Lab on Discovery. I was told they put it out of service and didn't use it any more. Man I miss the orbiter sims.

I would love to come up with an orbiter sim, but your right, making one from scratch would be super hard. I would have loved to restore the old sims to their former glory, but the USSRC had other plans. I really have to wonder what happened to all the shuttle era actual hardware sims? We have the STA in Huntsville, the SCA in Houston, and the Skylab trainers in both. But what about the orbiter actual sims from NASA? What if there were some way to put the actual hardware back in service. I sure wonder what happened to all that hardware. Maybe it's stored somewhere in Houston, and just needs a savior??? Wouldn't that be one hell of an awesome part of history to save? I'm sure they were state of the art, and even though dated, would be super high fidelity. Then, unlike the Apollo era actual hardware that is just on display, the orbiter sim could still be enjoyed.

Another discussion point in the whole sim creation idea is what sort of purpose would it revolve around? Columbia/Independence/Atlantis/Enterprise were all full scale mockups. Some of the advanced ones even had the rear part of the cockpit represented. The Discovery/Endeavor sims were motion based of just the flight deck. So if you are going to all of the trouble to build a sim, then you would need one of both. :-) That way when you were feeling hard core pilot, you jump in the motion based sims. If you were looking for a more rounded experience, you could get in your full size sim and run the RMS or do experiments in your Space Lab. The full size sims would be perfect for EDM's, too. So many possibilities, we should have figured out a way to save the orbiter sims on the floor...

Well until we figure out a way to make these lofty plans come true, I'm still using Space Shuttle Mission 2007 at my house and saving my money for flying airplanes, rather than going back to an official camp. I wouldn't mind doing a 3-4 day alumni camp again, if they let us have the run of the facility. Until, then I'll just keep coming back to Huntsville and going to the museum. But this year I will be there both weekends for summer fest. Hotdog, I'm on board with some sort of sim idea, so I'll see you soon and we can start figuring something out in person.
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Re: 2019?

Postby Hotdog » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:46 pm

airkale wrote:I really have to wonder what happened to all the shuttle era actual hardware sims? We have the STA in Huntsville, the SCA in Houston, and the Skylab trainers in both. But what about the orbiter actual sims from NASA?


One is at the Museum of the Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, and the other is in Seattle. Not sure about the others.

I don't think it would really be that hard. We just need the right people on our team. A programmer who can program an Ardrino/Raspberry PI and interface it with the Orbiter sim, and someone who can wire it all up. I know of at least one Space Camp alum who can do the Raspberry PI stuff. The Alumni board could help us find the right people if we need to. I guess what we need to do first is see what Dreamchaser mods are already out there for the Orbiter sim, and make sure they're up to our standards first before we build anything. It might be that we have to modify the sim software first before we begin any of the interface stuff. We'd also want to get with Sierra Nevada to make sure we're getting it accurate. I think we need to figure all of this out and get all of our ducks in a row before we approach the Rocket Center or the Alumni board with the idea. We'll talk at Summerfest!
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Re: 2019?

Postby SpaceCanada » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:12 pm

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They offer tours of the one in Seattle. We were very fortunate to see her two summers ago with a group of really incredible people. ;) It was a truly remarkable experience and we hope to return sometime soon. I was particularly fascinated by the details of the payload bay, and feel it's an under appreciated part of the orbiter.
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Re: 2019?

Postby p51 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:07 pm

The FFT in Seattle was just used for ground training (I assume for strapping in and emergency egress training). There were no sims ever hooked up to it and the museum there didn't get one of the actual STS sims. :(
I think I read somewhere that one of the STS motion sims from Houston was given to a university in Texas (I can't recall which one, maybe Rice?), but beats me what someone could do with one as there'd be no support for when the thing broke down eventually or training to be able to use the thing at all (not to mention, who'd get to fly the thing, other than former Shuttle crews?).
Airkale makes a good point, as I never got to see the more accurate interiors that SC had, the first time I ever strapped into a SC sim was in 2012, long after it was more plywood than metal in any of them.
Having flown several military sims (including once successfully landing a B-52, while a bunch of shocked USAF types stood by, seeing an Army LT get it on the ground in a survivable landing), I agree that after a few times, the current SC sims are sort of "Meh," especially after you've done it a couple of times.
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Re: 2019?

Postby majtom7 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:57 am

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Re: 2019?

Postby majtom7 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:06 am

FYI No response to my direct question about mission time... No surprise there.. Also, I asked Smithsonian Journeys if any of the cost of their camp was considered a donation which might make attending more palatable. No response there, either...
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Re: 2019?

Postby airkale » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:27 pm

SpaceCanada wrote:Image
They offer tours of the one in Seattle. We were very fortunate to see her two summers ago with a group of really incredible people. ;) It was a truly remarkable experience and we hope to return sometime soon. I was particularly fascinated by the details of the payload bay, and feel it's an under appreciated part of the orbiter.


Jennifer,

What museum is that, I need to put it on my list of things to do in Seattle.
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Re: 2019?

Postby airkale » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:55 pm

This is becoming a pretty interesting thread here.

I was reading on MajTom's links. That nuts I didn't hear about the motion sim going to A&M. I was actually living in Houston at that time and participated in a good number of the STS retirement events. I wish I knew they needed money, maybe there would have been something I could have done while there was still interest in restoring the motion sim. It seems really odd, we all funded the STA project to bring it to Huntsville and mount it. Why couldn't we do the same, or done the same, for the sim in College Station? It also seems odd because A&M has lots of money, just in their normal programs. Man I hate to hear that a good bit of the sims didn't get displayed as intended.

P51, its funny you should mention Buff sims... I spent a lot of time up at Barksdale AFB when I was younger doing tons of Civil Air Patrol activities. Over the years I got to spend some time in their full motion sim. The year I was the encampment cadet commander, I got about 20 minutes to have fun. I think the guy running the sim got a good chuckle when a teenager was able to turn final and land without his help. Of course, there was a slight bounce. But its hard to translate the cockpit height off the ground of an eight engine bomber when your used to flying Cessnas. I like to think it was almost as good as the 1st LT with about a million dollars of flight training sitting in the sim control room.

So bottom line, we need to get the A&M sim operational, and then build our own at Sprocket... or ship the motion based sim to Huntsville if they don't want to fork up the money to get it working in Texas. I wasn't able to see what happened to the fixed based sims, other than they being dispersed to museums. However, I'm sure with enough money we can ship them to Sprocket too. Now we just need to find an alum with a seven figure job to write the checks. In no time, we could get the training floor at Space Camp to the NASA level for us adults.
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Re: 2019?

Postby majtom7 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:20 pm

BTW, at least one of the train cars at Aviation Challenge held a B-52 sim when it was delivered back in 1993. Full cockpit, nuclear blast curtains, etc. The staff was talking about doing integrated fighter/bomber sims. :) and USSRC cleared it all out to make office space :(

I have no idea when or why USSRC discontinued the motion based sims other than guessing that it involved a lack of money. I'd like to hear that story, if someone knows it. It was very sad to see Endeavour sitting on the floor just an empty shell when I came back for camp in 2013.
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Re: 2019?

Postby SpaceCanada » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:14 pm

airkale wrote:What museum is that, I need to put it on my list of things to do in Seattle.

It's at the Museum of Flight. We spent a full day there and it wasn't enough. I would recommend the Boeing tour as well. I have not had the pleasure of doing it yet, but everyone I know who has done it won't stop talking about it.
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Re: 2019?

Postby airkale » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:25 pm

majtom7 wrote:BTW, at least one of the train cars at Aviation Challenge held a B-52 sim when it was delivered back in 1993. Full cockpit, nuclear blast curtains, etc. The staff was talking about doing integrated fighter/bomber sims. :) and USSRC cleared it all out to make office space :(

I have no idea when or why USSRC discontinued the motion based sims other than guessing that it involved a lack of money. I'd like to hear that story, if someone knows it. It was very sad to see Endeavour sitting on the floor just an empty shell when I came back for camp in 2013.


Yea I remember the SAC heavyweights when I went to AC. I was able to go into one of them for some reason, even though they are off limits. I think I asked of my counselors to check it out, as I'm into trains, too. I don't remember if the staff knew what they were for. I imagine that if it was a buff sim, then it would have to be one of the early models like the D. Again, knowing this, it pains me to think it could have been preserved into its former glory. How awesome would bomber sims have been at camp?

However, I know bomber sims would have been impossible for campers. For the most part, anyone who play an arcade games, can fly the fighter aircraft/sims. So all you have to do is teach the kids that pulling back makes you go up rather than down, tell um some maneuvers, and throw them in a sim. Off they go shooting each other down and having fun. No real skill is involved, and whoever does actually have some skill wins the Topgun comp. Another type of aircraft is another story all together. You have to actually be able to FLY the heavies. No need to worry about stalling a fighter, just give it some more throttle. :-) Also, what are you going to actually "do" with a bomber? Dog fights are quick and produce a clear winner. That fits easily with the camp schedule. You would have to do bomb comps or landing competitions with bombers. Either way, you need multiple crew members, and these activities aren't quick. So if they wanted to do a bomber side of the camp, they would have to restructure everything like Space Camp, where you learned about the crew positions, picked what you would be, and then trained and flew that position like Space Camp flies missions. Its not a completely far fetched idea, but it is very different from how AC is currently structured.

Maybe, one of the other lofty goals of us sim preservationists could be to get a B-52 sim back at the AC hangar. After all, I spent a lot of time at Barksdale AFB, where the real Air Force bomb comp is held. Who knows, maybe we can make our own adult bomber aviation challenge week! I'm willing to spend the money on something like that! Any one found a 7 figure earning alumni we can start funneling these ideas to?

I'm glad in some ways that I haven't been at a camp since they got rid of the orbiters. I'd hate to have seen them all come down.
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Re: 2019?

Postby Hotdog » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:38 pm

airkale wrote:I'm glad in some ways that I haven't been at a camp since they got rid of the orbiters. I'd hate to have seen them all come down.


Well, they're not all gone. We still have Enterprise, Discovery and the newer Endeavour. Hoping we get to at least keep Enterprise as time goes on.
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