Blast Off to Space Camp

Space camp is always most exciting and this year’s expedition to the depths of outer space did not disappoint.

The jewels of the autumn night sky eluded the astronomers with Solihull’s night skies shrouded by the cloud cover but the power of technology prevailed. Using SkyView, the augmented reality app, the star gazers discovered the different constellations, planets and stars in the night sky. The international space station even made a guest appearance.

A virtual reality tour of our solar system launched off from the Nevada desert. The children described seeing what looked like a rainbow made of stars and then correctly identified it as the milky way. They then travelled to Norway to see the northern lights and left earth as a camera attached to a weather balloon, rising above the clouds to see earth from the edge of space.

Landing on the moon as a lunar rover they looked back at earth rising above the moon's horizon then headed over to experience Mars using images sent back by the Mars rover. The tour finished by watching a solar eclipse in Australia.

To help make the children more aware of the physical demands of space travel they undertook different elements of NASA astronaut training. This involved exercises that astronauts might do in preparation for space travel to avoid muscle wastage, and to improve their stamina and co-ordination. There were some extremely competitive astronauts on our mission! The crab walk race was completed at record pace, and the plank-hold competition was called to a halt after 5 minutes with two or three astronauts-in-the-making holding strong!

Finally, it was time to bed down on planet earth and watch the space-themed movie WALL-E. Eventually all fell soundly asleep for an unexpectedly peaceful night.