adBlockCheck

Modernized Space Camp Allows Kids To Simulate Frustration Over Lack Of Funding

Top Headlines

Science & Technology

What Is Pokémon Go?

Since its debut last Thursday, the augmented-reality smartphone app Pokémon Go has been downloaded millions of times and has grown publisher Nintendo’s stock by 25 percent. The Onion answers some common questions about the game and its unprecedented success.

Factory Robot Working On Some Of Its Own Designs After Hours

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC—Saying it had been mulling over the “fun little side project” for a while, an Electroimpact Quadbot reportedly put in some extra work after hours at the Boeing assembly plant Wednesday to try out a few of its own original designs.

Books Vs. E-Readers

Though e-readers have increasingly supplanted books in the digital age, many bibliophiles defend the importance of physical texts. Here is a side-by-side comparison of physical books and e-books

Disney Begins Uploading Obama’s Consciousness To Hall Of Presidents Robot

BAY LAKE, FL—In an effort to provide park visitors with the most true-to-life attraction possible, Walt Disney World officials announced Monday that computer technicians have begun uploading Barack Obama’s consciousness into his animatronic robot likeness at the Magic Kingdom’s Hall of Presidents exhibit.

Facebook’s Plans For The Future

From instant articles to live video, Facebook continues to look for new ways to expand its reach and offerings. Here are some plans on the horizon for the social media giant

Brita Unveils New In-Throat Water Filters

OAKLAND, CA—Representatives from Brita, the nation’s bestselling brand of household water filtration products, held a press event Wednesday to unveil a new line of filters designed to be installed directly inside users’ throats.

Video Game Henchmen Plan Meetup Around Explosive Barrels

LEVEL 5—A group of video game henchmen patrolling the warehouse hideout of their criminal mastermind boss informed reporters Wednesday of their upcoming plan to take a brief break from making their rounds to meet up around a stack of five highly explosive barrels.

Study Links Clinical Depression To Getting Dunked On

BOSTON—Identifying a significant factor contributing to the development of the mental health disorder, researchers from Harvard Medical School published a groundbreaking study Thursday that reportedly links clinical depression to getting dunked on.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Modernized Space Camp Allows Kids To Simulate Frustration Over Lack Of Funding

Space Camp attendees react to news that budget pressures have postponed their mission indefinitely.
Space Camp attendees react to news that budget pressures have postponed their mission indefinitely.

HUNTSVILLE, AL—Aiming to provide attendees with an authentic glimpse into the nation’s space program, representatives for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center announced Thursday that its newly updated Space Camp will allow children to simulate the anger and mounting frustration experienced by NASA personnel over a continual lack of funding.

Camp organizers explained that the redesigned education program will offer kids the unique opportunity to contend with all of the budgetary restrictions and bureaucratic red tape impeding the progress of actual astronauts and researchers, allowing children from grades four to six to immerse themselves in a true-to-life NASA environment in which financial shortfalls and endless procedural delays plague them at every turn.

“At Space Camp, each attendee experiences the trials of real-life astronauts who simply are not provided the resources they need to explore outer space,” said director Deborah Barnhart, noting that campers get a firsthand look at what it’s like to pursue cutting-edge astronomical research on a budget that, when adjusted for inflation, is a mere fraction of what it was in the 1960s. “Our campers endure constant setbacks throughout their week here, from engaging in spaceflight training modules that can be shut down at a moment’s notice, to working tirelessly on a solar probe project only to be informed that an across-the-board spending freeze has led to the indefinite suspension of their work.”

“Kids will walk away from a week at Space Camp knowing exactly what it’s like to be an American astronaut,” she added.

Barnhart told reporters that the modernized camp offers attendees an array of hands-on activities that include designing next-generation spaceships, searching for virtual extrasolar planets, and building a robotic Mars rover, any one of which could be effectively derailed by an abrupt mandate that the research and development process be made more cost-effective.

Additionally, campers will reportedly be able to sigh and throw their hands up in exasperation within a replica of the actual mission control room at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center after learning that a reconnaissance mission to scan for the presence of life on Jupiter’s moon Europa has been scrapped just weeks prior to the intended launch date.

Program officials also highlighted their efforts to make the experience as realistically discouraging as possible by furloughing a significant number of campers immediately at the start of each weeklong session.

“We put camp attendees in the shoes of dedicated NASA scientists whose attempts to further scientific understanding through the analysis of asteroid composition are halted by one of our camp staffers playing the role of a U.S. senator targeting all ‘nonessential’ initiatives,” said counselor Tyler Campbell. “When they take their seats in our mock congressional chamber, campers will work together to deliver an impassioned yet ultimately futile request for continued support of NASA until they have no choice but to stand up and leave, having just witnessed their life’s work go up in smoke.”

“When you see the stunned expressions on these kids’ faces as they realize their goals and dreams are no longer attainable because of political pressures completely out of their control, that’s when you know they’ve gained a valuable understanding of our space program,” Campbell added.

Early participants in the new program have reportedly hailed the experience as “eye-opening,” with many describing their visceral disappointment watching satellite feeds of their Chinese and Russian Space Camp counterparts pursuing scientific endeavors that were eliminated in the U.S. years ago.

“I’ll never forget what it was like to go to Space Camp and repeatedly attempt to convince the budget committee of the importance of our solar wind study so they would cancel the other teams’ projects and not ours,” said 11-year-old camper Sara Andrews, who explained that she spent most of the week steadily reducing the scope of her simulated mission so that it would remain financially viable. “I’m just glad I wasn’t working on the asteroid flyby project that was ultimately deemed too cost-prohibitive and was contracted out to a private aeronautics firm. The kids on that team just had to sit around and do nothing for the rest of camp.”

“I can’t wait to work at NASA when I grow up so I can constantly stress over limited financial resources and have my scientific projects canceled for real,” she added. “That is, if NASA even still exists then.”

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close