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My 'astronaut training' camp journey

My mom and I journeyed to Cape Canaveral, Florida, where I took part in the Kennedy Space Center Astronaut Training Experience Camp last year.

The camp took place in a building off the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and was a week long. I signed up for the robotics portion, where we learned how to build and program robots to do certain tasks. Every day, after we learned about a scientist from history, a red light would turn on and make a blaring noise. This meant that we had a new mission to accomplish. One of my favorite tasks was when we had to build a robot with certain size limits that was able to collect samples on the Martian surface. What this meant for us was creating a robot less than 10 inches wide and 10 inches in length that was able to hit all of the Ping-Pong balls on a table. We succeeded!

Credit: Kidsday illustration / Gabriel Blanco

"There were other rockets outside in the Rocket Garden and information about astronauts and different space missions."

Credit: Kidsday illustration / Gabriel Blanco

My partner taught me the basics in coding, and I taught him how to design a robot that could move easily. We also ventured out of the classroom and explored the rest of Kennedy Space Center. Some brave students went into a NASA training device, an Aerotrim. It contains three circular rings that spin a person strapped into a chair in the center of the device, simulating what it is like to be in space. We also went to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where we saw one of the few Saturn V rockets in existence. The one we saw was a test rocket that was a success. There were other rockets outside in the Rocket Garden and information about astronauts and different space missions. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.

Clara Villani’s Newspaper Club, Brother Joseph C. Fox Latin School, Kellenberg, Uniondale

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