The young attendees of a space camp find themselves in space for real when their shuttle is accidentally launched into orbit.The young attendees of a space camp find themselves in space for real when their shuttle is accidentally launched into orbit.The young attendees of a space camp find themselves in space for real when their shuttle is accidentally launched into orbit.
Now as far as kids movies go, it was decent enough, but totally and completely impossible for sooooo many reasons. I know this is going to exponentially increase my nerd factor, but I have to put it out there.
1. At the time this film was made, Space Camp was in Alabama, not Florida. There is now one in Florida also, but it didn't exist in 1986.
2. The simulators that Space Camp kids train on are nowhere as detailed or realistic as the ones they used for the movie.
3. The multi-axis trainer has no joystick on it. It is not meant to be controlled; it just spins around to familiarize trainees with spatial disorientation.
4. Most Space Camp students don't use the water tank (neutral buoyancy simulator) for training. Only very advanced camp programs use it.
5. The space shuttle main engines aren't tested on the pad, with fully loaded booster rockets right next to them. They're static tested long before ever reaching the pad (and before they're even on the shuttle itself).
6. There is no such thing as a 'thermal curtain'. The boosters are either lit via an igniter, or they're not. There isn't any ambiguity there, nor is there a chance of accidental lighting.
7. Kids would NEVER be allowed to board a fully loaded shuttle, much less during a static engine test. NEVER.
8. There are no 'short range radios' used prior to launch. The communications for the shuttle go through its main systems, and they are what they are.
9. Obviously there was no space station 'Daedalus'. Obviously. And if there were, the oxygen tanks would not be among the first parts to be constructed.
10. If there were fully loaded space suits on board, then why not use the oxygen from them to get the extra hour they needed to make the reentry window? One suit has enough for one person to last 8 hours. It would give seven people at least an hour. And there were two suits, so that's almost two extra hours per person right there. Problem solved.
11. Going to retrieve oxygen tanks from a half-built space station would be completely impossible for them without navigational support and close coordination from mission control. How did they know where it was? 12. You can't adjust the size of a spacesuit to fit a child using a belt.
13. Even if the oxygen tanks were attainable, what guarantee is there that they'll have nozzles compatible with whatever the shuttle uses? Chances are far more likely that they won't be compatible at all. But either way, why bother? Why not just bring a tank into the cabin and run some air out? For a short-term fix, that would be plenty.
So yeah, in conclusion, this is an impossible fairy tale. But entertaining, or at least it was when I was 11. :)
- Dec 11, 2008