Space Camp must raise $1.5 million to survive the pandemic

Space Camp and its home, the US Space and Rocket Center museum in Alabama, are in danger of shutting down permanently due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation needs your help. The organization, which oversees the Space Camp program for young people in Huntsville, Alabama, will have to close in October unless it meets its fundraising goal.

Space Camp, as it is most commonly known, uses the “excitement of U.S. and international space programs to stimulate young people’s interest in STEM studies.” Founded in 1982, the summer camp program currently offers attendees three specializations to choose from space, aviation and robotics during the week-long program.

According to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation, it takes $1,100 to send a child to space camp for a full week.

Both the museum and the camp were forced to temporarily close back in March due to the pandemic, and the camp unfortunately (but understandably) suffered from low attendance when it reopened in late June. That led to a significant decrease in revenue, forcing the center to lay off full-time employees and preventing it from hiring seasonal personnel.

On the campaign page, officials explained:

“With limited admission from international students and school groups this fall and winter, we’re forced to close our weeklong camp programs again until April 2021. These ongoing challenges have meant a devastating loss of two-thirds of our revenue.”

As Space notes, the rocket center typically generates $120 million in annual revenue for Alabama, so its loss is also a massive loss for the state. Center officials said they’ve “exhausted all funding possibilities” at this point and have no choice but to turn to the public for help. They need the $1.5 million c or else the center and the camp will have to shut down in October.

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