Portland student shoots for stars at Space Camp

Dean shakes hands with retired astronaut and decorated U.S. Marine aviator Bob Springer at the end of his stint at Rocket Center and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Official Visitor Center Space Camp in Alabama.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama –  Dean Isbell of Portland, recently attended Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Official Visitor Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The weeklong educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while training students with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and problem solving.

This program is specifically designed for trainees who have a passion for space exploration. Isbell spent the week training with a team that flew a simulated space mission to the International Space Station (ISS), the moon or Mars. The crew participated in experiments and successfully completed an extravehicular activity (EVA), or spacewalk. Isbell and crew returned to earth in time to graduate with honors.

Space Camp operates year-round in Huntsville, and uses astronaut training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects. Students sleep in quarters designed to resemble the ISS and train in simulators like those used by NASA.

More than 850,000 trainees have graduated from a Space Camp program since its inception in 1982, including European Space Agency astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti and NASA astronauts Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, Dr. Kate Rubins, Dr. Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Christina Koch, who is serving onboard the International Space Station.

Children and teachers from all 50 states and almost 150 international locations have attended a Space Camp program.