Archive for Thursday, July 22, 2004

Linwood youngster attends space camp

July 22, 2004

Brittany Purrington, daughter of Harry and Melanie Purrington of Linwood, Kan., attended Level 2 of the Future Astronaut Training Program at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kan., June 30-July 5.

The week-long camp builds on the basic knowledge students gained from successfully completing the Level 1 camp. In preparation for an extended space shuttle mission, participants underwent a full day of scuba training and underwater Extra Vehicular Activity exercises with certified dive instructors. Their shuttle mission included rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station, EVA satellite repair, and a student-piloted landing.

Participants in Level 2 also received advanced aviation training in F-101 and F-16 cockpit trainers acquired from the U.S. Air Force, built and launched large model rockets, and constructed complex robots for a simulated Mars mission.

Developed by Cosmosphere staff, Level 2 of the Future Astronaut Training Program is in its third year and continues to incorporate actual aspects of astronaut training with advanced courses in space shuttle systems, earth observation, and microgravity science. The nationally recognized camp strives to motivate and inspire careers in space education in an environment that emphasizes teamwork and problem solving.

Campers also learn about the history of the space program in the Cosmosphere's Hall of Space Museum, which houses one of the largest space artifact collections in the world. The museum features the actual Apollo 13 command module Odyssey and the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow. Campers also utilize the Cosmosphere's planetarium and IMAX® Dome Theater throughout the week.

As one of the country's top residential space education programs for students entering grades 7-10, more than 7,500 participants from across the country and around the world have graduated from the Cosmosphere's Future Astronaut Training Program since its beginning in 1985.

For more information on the Future Astronaut Training Program call 800.397.0330, ext. 323, or visit the Cosmosphere's website at

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