THE CAMP IN ALABAMA BRINGING OUTER SPACE TO THE BLIND

WIRED | 10/11/2018 | Laura Mallonee
maddyb7 (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://media.wired.com/photos/5bbcf55a235b00769c2683a2/191:100/pass/Space_Camp_Ormerod_Wired-1.jpg

If you want to be an astronaut, you must have 20/20 vision. That's a huge barrier for blind children who dream of going to space, but it doesn't mean they can't get a small taste of what it's like to go out into the cosmos.

Each year, a group of fourth to 12th graders head to the Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students in Huntsville, Alabama, to learn what it’s like to launch into orbit, float in zero gravity, and walk on the moon—even if they can't actually see it.

Obstacle - Way - Photographer - Robert - Ormerod

"They have a huge obstacle in their way," says photographer Robert Ormerod, "but they still have this passion, desire, and love for space—this curiosity to know where we are in the universe."

SCIVIS—pronounced like "sci-fi”—started in 1990, after a blind woman rejected by Space Camp wrote a letter to her congressman. "She was under the impression that Space Camp was a NASA-funded program," says coordinator Dan Oates, part of the team that helped founder Ed Buckbee create the program. "Instead of throwing the letter away, he forwarded it to Ed, and Ed thought, 'Well, huh, that might be something to try!'"

Camp - Fall - US - Space - Rocket

The camp, which is held each fall at the US Space and Rocket Center, draws roughly 200 kids from more than 10 countries, including the Bahamas, Israel, and New Zealand. For nearly a week, the campers wear flight suits and sleep in tiny rooms packed with bunk beds and a single shared locker. There's no freeze-dried ice cream, but the cafeteria serves up an international menu—Belgian lunches, Russian dinners, that kind of thing—in homage to member countries of the International Space Station.

The kids undergo the same astronaut, aviation, and robotics-themed training that attendees of regular Space Camp receive—only they complete it with help from braille and large print texts, handheld magnifiers, miniature...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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