The U.S. Space & Rocket Center® announces the 2016 class of the Space Camp® Hall of Fame

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., June 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Space & Rocket Center® is pleased to announce the selection of three outstanding individuals who make up the 2016 class of the Space Camp® Hall of Fame: Jason Hopkins, an aerospace engineer and business development specialist at Masten Space Systems and a former NASA Fellow; Dr. Amy Kaminsky, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Chief Scientist, NASA; and George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company.

In honor of the 30th anniversary of its release, the Rocket Center is also inducting the cast of “Space Camp,” a movie that launched the dream of attending Space Camp for thousands of children. Larry B. Scott, who played Rudi Tyler in the movie, will accept the induction of the cast into the Space Camp Hall of Fame.

“Each of these individuals have built successful careers from a dream they had while they were at Space Camp,” Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, said. “The professional accomplishments of this year’s inductees and their passion for inspiring the spirit of curiosity and exploration in others are standout examples of what our more than 700,000 alumni are capable. By recognizing and sharing the stories of these three people, we are encouraging Space Camp trainees past and future to follow in their footsteps and make their dreams a reality.”

The Space Camp Hall of Fame includes graduates and former employees who have distinguished themselves in their respective careers and friends of the Center who have made considerable contributions of personal time, effort or resources to further the goals of the Space Camp programs. Members exhibit leadership among the globe-spanning Space Camp alumni community of almost 700,000, providing guidance and encouragement for alumni to continue to support the Space Camp mission.

This year’s inductees join the ranks of 35 Hall of Fame members, including Dr. Wernher von Braun and astronauts Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, Samantha Cristoforetti and Dr. Kate Rubins, who is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station in June.

The 2016 class will be inducted at the Hall of Fame Ceremony and Dinner, to be held July 16, 2016, at the Rocket Center’s Davidson Center for Space Exploration. Miles O’Brien, a longtime space journalist and the science correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, is the guest speaker for the evening.

The induction ceremony is part of a three-day Space Camp Summer Fest, a family-friendly event that offers participants the chance to relive the Space Camp and Aviation Challenge® experiences. The weekend concludes with a “Totally 80s Concert is Shuttle Park” in honor of the 30th anniversary of the movie “Space Camp.” Headliners are Eddie Money, Mickey Thomas from Starship and special guests Bill Champlin, formerly of Chicago; Robbie Dupree; Jeff Carlisi, formerly of .38 Special; and Yacht Rock Revue.

For more information on the Space Camp Summer Fest, visit spacecamp.com/SummerFest16.    

Contact: Pat Ammons, pat.ammons@spacecamp.com, 256-721-5429.

About U.S. Space & Rocket Center

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is home to Space Camp® and Aviation Challenge®, the Apollo 16 capsule, the National Historic Landmark Saturn V rocket and world-class traveling exhibits. USSRC is the Official Visitor Center for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and a showcase for national defense technologies developed at the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal.

To learn more about the exciting programs and activities at the USSRC, go to www.rocketcenter.com.

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SOURCE U.S. Space & Rocket Center

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