Ambassador Aaron

I am Aaron and I recently had the amazing opportunity to travel with One Giant Leap Australia to the U.S.A. The trip was called Space Camp, which sounds exciting enough, but it was actually so much more than that.

During the two weeks that I travelled with One Giant Leap Australia, we did so many incredible things. One Giant Leap Australia has a lot of contacts in the space industry so we got to go into places where the public are not even allowed! This was way better than even the coolest trip you could do with your family!

To name a few of the highlights:

First stop The Spaceship Company. This is where they build spacecraft for Virgin Galactic

So much fun in Disneyland!

Northrop Grumman on day 3.

Our group was lucky enough to see the James Webb telescope fully extended. That is NASA’s biggest telescope ever!! What an opportunity!

The California Science Centre is the home of the space shuttle Endeavour. Chelsey Martin (LA Consul General) is amazing. She met with us and we all had a great chat!

And that was all before the actual Space Camp part of the trip even started!!

We went to Universal Studios!!

Space Camp!!

The week in Space Camp was inspirational. The teams completed similar training to NASA astronauts.

7 beds to a room – the same as the International Space Station.

The food at Space Camp was an incredible buffet at every meal! There was so much choice.

The training included simulators, missions, SCUBA diving (weightless environment), rocketry, high ropes course, heat shield experiments, history of space flight and lessons on spacesuit and rocket design.

The simulators include the Multi Axis Trainer which demonstrated working in the Moon’s gravity.

There was also a 360-degree simulator which spun you in all different directions, simulating what it would feel like to be out of control in a spacecraft. There was another simulator called the 5DF (five degrees of freedom) which simulated what it would be like to do a spacewalk with only five degrees of freedom (we couldn’t go up or down).

When we were building rockets, we designed our rockets, and they would have a payload inside them (an egg), and you would have to design padding and a parachute for the rocket, so the egg wouldn’t crack upon landing.

In the simulated missions, there were Mars, lunar, and orbit missions. I had the opportunity to do the orbit mission as well as the lunar mission. In the missions, there were people in ground control, and there were people in the spaceship, performing missions, e.g. landing on the moon or doing experiments in Mars. Ground control and the people in the spaceship communicated with each other at all times.

The camaraderie on the trip was incredible. We were learning so many new things and doing amazing stuff, and we were having tonnes of fun along the way. I met cool scientists and engineers as well as lots of other teens from around Australia. I built friendships with other like-minded people that I plan to keep forever.

Getting the opportunity to go to Space Camp and travel with One Giant Leap Australia was awesome.

I would say to make the most of every camp, outing, activity and opportunity that comes your way. One opportunity leads to another. If you do one thing, doors will open to the next thing and then the next thing after that.

There is a whole universe of possibilities out there!