At the very top of the cork-board in my office are my wings that I received at Space Academy graduation in 1990. Wow, it has been twenty years since I was a camper here in Rocket City. My graduation wings are very dear to me. My wings are symbolic of the experience here in Huntsville that changed the way I saw education. To all who have them, the Space Camp wings should represent a spirit of exploration and a commitment to advance our knowledge of the world around us. With a set of wings, you can dream big dreams and those Space Camp wings will encourage you to follow your dreams.
Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger is also a 1990 graduate of the Space Camp programs and the first Space Camp alumni to be selected for the astronaut corps. She has described her camp experience as life changing. In 2007, Dottie was inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame. On Monday, April 5th, her and the crew of STS – 131 are scheduled to launch on a mission to the International Space Station. This will make her the first Space Camp graduate to travel into space.
Everyone at Space Camp is excited about this launch. There is a large delegation of Space Camp staff and USSRC board members that will be watching the launch at the cape. In January, Dottie agreed to fly Space Camp wings on board Discovery. I am one of the lucky ones that will be present for the launch. I am excited to be there for the launch but I am also excited that something so symbolic of Space Camp will be flying as cargo when our first Space Camp astronaut ventures into space.
I love space flight! I hope that everyone watches on Monday morning and then writes a letter to our Congressional leaders to support manned spaceflight or sends a kid to Space Camp. I hope everyone is encouraged by this mission just as I am each time I see my Space Academy wings on my cork-board. We can do anything, we should dream big dreams!
Other Media on Dottie’s Mission: