Topic: Former Space Camp Florida dorm demolition
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Feb 2008
posted 01-05-2011 10:37 AM
The old dorm that thousands of future astronauts used while attending Space Camp Florida was demolished earlier this week. Unused since the demise of the Florida franchise, it had fallen into disrepair. Sad to see it go!
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003
posted 01-05-2011 10:42 AM
Very sad, indeed.
Registered: Aug 2002
posted 01-05-2011 01:02 PM
Was this used in the Space Camp movie?
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999
posted 01-05-2011 02:13 PM
Despite showing the space shuttle on the pad, at the time "Space Camp" was filmed, Space Camp Florida did not exist. All the on location scenes shot for the movie were of the camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The space station-themed dormitory in Florida was based off the one in Alabama, but even the original wasn't standing at the time of the movie.
The Florida dormitory didn't exist when Space Camp Florida started in 1988 either. I attended that year and the campers were housed in a local Howard Johnson.
Space Camp Florida closed in 2002. In the years since, the dormitory, with its air conditioning shut off, was said to have been overrun by mildew to the point that it was no longer healthy to enter.
From: Wilmington, NC, USA
Registered: Nov 2010
posted 01-05-2011 05:17 PM
Very sad indeed. I have very fond memories of my time at Space Camp Florida and of that building. I looked forward to seeing it every time I was in the area of the Cape. Very sad that I will no longer be able to look at it and reflect on the memories.
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005
posted 01-05-2011 06:53 PM
To be honest, not so sad. When Delaware North announces it's plans for the future of the AHOF, I think eveyone will be very pleased.
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007
posted 01-09-2011 02:01 AM
The original camper dorms at the Alabama Space and Rocket Center at the time Space Camp was filmed were located underneath a pair of giant dome type stuctures (they looked like giant tents but were made of a more weather resistant material and semi-permanent) that housed the equipment used at Space Camp. The scenes in the camp showing the simulators were inside those domes. I remember them quite well as I was at Space Camp about a year before the movie was filmed (and about a month before some of the NASA teacher in space candidates attended). I don't know if those domes are still up today, but I believe the domes were used as part of Aviation Challenge in the 1990s after Space Camp moved onto newer equipment (Robert might be able to fill in those details).
Where the dorm room scenes in the film were shot was at the "Lunch Pad" cafeteria, which was adjacent to the main Rocket Center building (I can't recall if it was attached to the building or free-standing). The food serving equipment and tables were all taken out and replaced with bunk beds for those scenes. The area where they filmed the camp's "entrance" was I believe the outside entrance for the museum's Omnimax dome theater.
And yes, I remember when I saw the film in 1986 I did something of a slight chuckle when I saw the two teen leads drive a jeep from the camp to the launch pad to look at the shuttle. Ahhhh, if ONLY we could have done that back then. I suppose if I had a license then, I could have. But it would have taken at least 20 hours to get from Huntsville to KSC.
From: Saginaw, MI USA
Registered: Feb 2004
posted 01-09-2011 06:50 AM
Jay, you're right about the structure we knew as "the bubble" moving to Aviation Challenge. When I attended in 1990 it was mostly an open air facility. If memory serves, the portion that held the motion based simulator at Space Camp was used to hold the three aircraft sims and a classroom.
I see on Google maps that they now have a large building at Aviation Challenge, so I have no idea for what the old dorm is used.
Registered: Jul 2005
posted 02-16-2011 06:55 PM
The bubble at Aviation Challenge is indeed the structure that once housed Space Camp until the current training center was built.
The original dorms for Space Camp were located below the structure and are still in their original location. The original dorms actually are the bottom level of what's now Hab 2 the smaller of the Space Camp dorms. The upper level of Hab 2 was built on the concrete slab where the bubble once sat below that slab was the original dorm and is now part of the Hab 2 building.
You can see a distinct difference in the look of the two levels when your inside. The lower level is much less spacey looking and though the dorms in the movie were filmed in a different location they were based on the camp's dorms at the time and the lower level dorm rooms still look very similar to the ones seen in the film. The rooms are large open areas with multiple bunk beds though when I worked there in 07 they now had some privacy dividers between beds something they did not have when I stayed there as a camper in 91.
From: Monterey, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011
posted 08-25-2018 11:11 AM
Robert your recounting of the chronology is right on. I actually went to Titusville High School right across the street from the HoJo's ('86-'89) — we even had an old Delta or Titan(?) perched at the entrance to the parking lot.
Anyway, I got a job assisting a buddy with meals for the Space Campers that season. We would lug ALL of the food over from the Denny's back kitchen door across River Road in these huge stainless pans (I remember being covered in buttery water from the corn!). I felt so bad for the kids — the food was sub-par.
Then just a couple of years later, I got a job as an actual Space Camp '95-ish. At first the campers stayed in portables that were in the back of the parking lot of the Astronaut Hall of Fame. They were a mess. I remember watching them build the huge new dorms and how cool they looked with the dome windows on the ends. When they had the grand opening we were in disbelief at how nice they were — the cafeteria alone was unreal.
Anyway, it was interesting to see this thread and to think that perhaps I served you your dinner Robert!