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Space Camp to blast off despite pandemic

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is going ahead with Space Camp this weekend, but things are going to look quite different this year.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is going ahead with Space Camp this weekend, but things are going to look quite different this year.

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To start, there will not be as many campers as normal.

Space Camp Vice President Robin Soprano said, "Instead of about 1,000 kids a week, we are going to have 264, so about 22 teams of 12. Our team sizes will be reduced from 16 to 12 as well."

Fewer campers means less opportunity for group activities.

"If they were collaborative group activities, sometimes they'll be doing them individually now or there will be smaller groups doing the collaborations as well," said Soprano. "Between each of our activities, we will be sanitizing supplies as well as the classrooms tables and chairs."

RELATED: U.S. Space & Rocket Center lays off over 100 employees

Space Camp counselors have been trickling in all week going through re-orientation to adapt to COVID-19 regulations. Soprano says it's important to bring the counselors together and share he reasons why they're making changes.

"We're not going to sacrifice safety and security or the experience, but we are going to make sure that we are able to follow all of those guidelines," said Soprano.

The campers will arrive this Sunday.

"Our students will be sleeping in a bunk room with less people in them oriented with head to toe," said Soprano. "Our Crew Galley, our cafeteria, students will be sitting spaced out in a box of tables that would normally hold 12. Now it will take four tables to seat one team."

Although much will be different, not everything is changing.

Soprano said, "We've had to revamp many of our activities, but we feel like we've maintained the essence of Space Camp and they will still be doing missions, they will still be doing the astronaut simulators."

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Space Camp is full for this year, but you can go ahead and register for next summer.

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