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Rocket Center launches Space Camp Operations Center

HUNTSVILLE — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey joined state and local officials and aerospace leaders this morning at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center to cut the ribbon on the state-of-the-art Space Camp Operations Center.

The 40,600-square-foot facility will serve as the hub of the Space Camp programs and provide a permanent home for U.S. Cyber Camp.

“It is incredible to see our vision for taking Space Camp programs to a new level become reality,” Dr. Kimberly Robinson, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. “We are exceedingly grateful to Governor Ivey and partners like Boeing who invest in our mission of inspiring the next generation STEM workforce.

“This facility is a milestone that will advance the Space Camp experience in countless ways.”

Sponsored by Boeing, the Operations Center features 10 classrooms, two collaboration zones, a Cyber Mission Control, a check-in center, and a multipurpose auditorium that is one of the largest in North Alabama.

The ongoing mission of inspiring those who will design the future can be seen in the facility’s design, which features state-of-the-art technology combined with intentional sustainability.

“For more than four decades, Boeing and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center have partnered to open up the exciting world of space to young people,” said Ziad Ojakli, executive vice president of Government Operations at Boeing. “The USSRC has been a launching pad for so many to pursue careers in STEM and, today, we’re welcoming the next generation with the Space Camp Operations Center.”

In addition to support for the Operations Center, Boeing announced a community investment grant to support Mission BLAST: Building Leaders with Adaptive Skills for Tomorrow at Space Camp.

The program is designed to reach local high school students who live in the shadow of the Saturn V rocket but who may not have ever visited the Rocket Center or attended Space Camp.

Mission BLAST is a three-day experience that combines the STEM skills taught in Space Camp with concepts to prepare students for the professional world. The program’s immersive modules focus on personal communication skills, teamwork and leadership; gratitude and giving back; and networking to continue learning and developing.

Since opening in 1982, Space Camp has graduated more than a million participants from nearly 150 countries.

The programs emphasize real-world application of STEM subjects, as well as teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Current programs include Space Camp, Aviation Challenge, Space Camp Robotics, and U.S. Cyber Camp.

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