Skip to main content


Space Camp Alumni Spotlight: John and Charles Horn

by Suzanne Saltz

Back in 2007, a seven-year-old boy and his father took an epic father and son trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. What is more amazing is that the trip was all chronicled in an article written by the father, John Horn which appeared in the Los Angeles Times on July 15, 2007, entitled, “As a family vacation, Space Camp is out there.” (

The article focused on the highlights of their trip together.

Father & Son Space Camp Alumni

I was so intrigued by their adventure, that I decided to catch up with them 12 years later to see how their experience at Space Camp changed their lives in 2007 and thereafter.

John and Charles Horn was interviewed in September.  The following is an edited excerpt of their responses to my questionnaire.

Thinking back to 2007, was Space Camp the destination or just part of the summer itinerary?

Charles: Space Camp was the destination for my space obsessed young self, it was also a unique opportunity as to my recollection it was the first time I went on a trip with just my dad…

John: It was definitely the destination. At the time my son, Charles, was seven years old, and he was interested in all sorts of things…Space Camp felt like a great father-son road trip that would be special for the two of us.

How did space and attending Space Camp become part of your life?

Charles: Since I can remember, space has been a part of my life, whether it be playing as astronauts, gazing up at the stars while camping, or my time at space camp. For me it is less of a singular moment of becoming my life, but rather an insatiable desire to understand my place in the cosmos and universe.

John: Charles and I previously had taken a trip to Washington D.C., where we spent a lot of time at the National Air and Space Museum, not only the museum on the National Mall but also the Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport. And even though both campuses had a variety of hands-on exhibits, almost all of the installations were to be viewed from afar. We wanted to actually pretend to be astronauts—and that’s what Space Camp gave us.

How did your visit to Space Camp affect you?

Charles: I maintained a deep interest in space and flight, an interest that continues into college.

John: I think for both Charles and myself, it continued to stoke our interest in space, science and, more broadly, hands-on learning.

What was the most memorable moment from attending Space Camp?

Charles: The missions stand out to me. Although me and my dad far exceeded the mission time when space walking, I still remember the science experiments and simulation experiences.

John: Probably a tie between “dying” on our space walk, and surviving all of the simulators that made us almost lose our lunch. Also, we still laugh about how badly I did during the game show quiz at the end of camp. I don’t think I got one answer right, including my name!

Have you visited any other Space related sight or event since attending Space Camp?

Charles: Seeing the endeavor fly into Los Angeles and directly over my school was an amazing experience, not just because a space shuttle on top of a 747 is quite the sight but also because it presented the opportunity to see the space shuttle once it reached its final destination at the Science Center in Los Angeles.

John: A year or two after Space Camp, Charles and I were in the Chicago airport during a space shuttle landing. We sat down to watch it in one of the gates, and a woman next to us starting telling Charles how the pilot used the alignment screens to land the shuttle. “How do you know so much about shuttles?” I asked. “I fly them,” she said. I don’t recall the name of the astronaut, but it was a special encounter.

Would you attend Space Camp again?

Charles: Of course, I hope my eventual kids have the same interest in space I did and are better at the simulators than I was.

John: Maybe..with grandchildren?


Space Camp Alumni Participate in the Global Rocket launch

by Suzanne Saltz and Chad Driver On Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 8:32 a.m. EST participants from all around the globe set off model rockets. This Global Rocket Launch commemorated […]

Remembering our Training on the Mission Floor

Do you remember your time training on the Mission Training Floor at Space Camp? In our latest video, we share the Mission Training Floor in its past and current state! […]