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Truett Wilson student ends summer as NASA graduate

Picture of a girl in a harness at space camp

Sophia Bacon’s lifelong love for space has recently become a reality.

Over her summer break, the seventh grader at Truett Wilson Middle School attended and graduated from Space Academy at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. 

“What was once a small love for science and space has now super-novaed into a giant love,” Sophia said. “I am so blessed to have this experience that furthered my love of space.”

The weeklong educational program promoted science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), while training students with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership, and problem solving.
Like Sophia, the program was specifically designed for trainees who have a passion for space exploration. Sophia 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 extra-vehicular activity (EVA), or spacewalk. Sophia and crew returned to earth in time to graduate with honors.
The Space Camp used astronaut training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects. Students slept in quarters designed to resemble the ISS and trained in simulators like those used by NASA. Sophia was also trained to problem-solve in water and emergency situations.
I was able to have this one in million week-long experience,” said Sophia. “This is something I want to do in the future. I will never forget this opportunity.”

Nearly 1 million 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 Auñón-Chancellor and Christina Koch, who set the record for the longest duration space flight by a female. Children and teachers from all 50 states and almost 150 international locations have attended a Space Camp program.