Space Camp Receives $10 Million Donation for New Inspiration4 Training Center
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Jared Isaacman, commander of Inspiration4 and founder and CEO of Shift4, announced a $10 million donation to the US Space and Rocket Center to build a new Space Camp facility.
The multi-million dollar donation will help construct a 40,000 square foot hangar-style building.
“Space Camp may be located in Huntsville, Alabama, but it’s an asset to the whole nation,” Isaacman said. “There are things here that you won’t find in school, that you won’t find in your local museum, your computer, your iPad or your virtual reality headset could never provide you.”
The building is planned to bring together several of the immersive activities of Space Camp and Aviation Challenges under one roof. Plans include space and aviation simulators, an indoor swimming pool, a net drone space, classrooms and a challenge course for future trainees.
The announcement was made on Space Camp’s current mission training ground during their 40th anniversary celebration. While the US Space and Rocket Center opened in 1970, Space Camp was founded in 1982.
The Rocket Center is in the final stages of selecting a site for the new building and an architectural firm for the design. There was no fixed timeline for the construction process in the announcement.
Isaacman will also donate an L-39 Black Diamond aircraft for display at the new facility when it is complete.
The Inspiration4 mission was the first all-civilian crew to go into space. They raised nearly $250 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in a fundraiser before their flight on September 15, 2021, aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule. The crew of four visited the US Space and Rocket Center before their flight to meet the campers and talk about their mission.
Isaacman said the Inspiration4 mission was a big step forward for space travel, and he encourages others to support the future of American space exploration.
“We’ve always said that if we were successful, it would open the door to so many exciting missions to follow, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen,” Isaacman said. “What you see at Space Camp is a lot of young minds that will be on these missions one day.”
Isaacman went to Aviation Challenge when he was 12, and his teammate Chris Sembroski previously worked as a Space Camp counselor.