The institutions were in danger of closing due to the pandemic but managed to raise over $1.5-million to remain open. (Image credit: U.S. Space & Rocket Center via GoFundMe)
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is a museum that showcases famous rockets, achievements, and artifacts of America’s space program in one form or another. Some of the great exhibits include the Saturn I Block 2 Dynamic Test Vehicle, the Apollo 16 Command Module, and even the Apollo 12 Mobile Quarantine Facility, where astronauts lived to make sure they didn’t bring anything contaminated back to earth. It’s also home to the museum’s Space Camp, where kids from all over the world learn about space and science.
Like any other museum or institution, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center have been impacted by the pandemic, and nearly shuttered its doors since opening in 1970, shortly after the Apollo 12 moon landing. To save both the museum and Space Camp, officials have opened a GoFundMe “Save Space Camp” campaign, which has already garnered over $1.5-million in just one week. More than 8,000 people and corporations, across all 50 states and 36 countries, donated to keep both facilities open.
Space Camp opened in 1982 and has had nearly 1-million graduates, with several going on to become real astronauts. The institution offers programs for kids and adults, with a curriculum designed to balance education and entertainment, which includes three tracks of study in space, aviation, cyber, and robotics. The Space Camp also offers scholarships for kids with disabilities, academic talent, or financial hardships so that they can continue to get an excellent education during the summer months.
It’s interesting to note that both the museum and camp temporarily closed back in March due to low visitation and attendance due to the pandemic. Both also saw low turn-out in June when it reopened, which led to a significant decrease in revenue (normally $120-million annually). This forced the institution to lay-off full-time employees and seasonal workers, while officials exhausted all funding abilities. The GoFundMe Save Space Camp campaign will allow the camp to reopen in the spring (the museum is still open).
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