Huntsville, Ala. (May 24, 2023) – In addition to officially opening the Space Camp Operations Center with a recent ribbon cutting ceremony, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center also celebrated a yet-to-be-announced donation from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Alabama’s only federally recognized Tribe. The Tribe made a $2.5 million donation to support the Operations Center, a 40,600-square-foot facility that houses 10 classrooms and laboratories for Space Camp and Space Camp Robotics, and a Cyber Mission Control for U.S. Cyber Camp. The Poarch Creek tribe’s donation funded the building’s expansive, multipurpose auditorium.
The Tribe’s donation to the Rocket Center is its largest financial contribution in North Alabama to date.
“The Poarch Band of Creek Indians investment in our mission furthers our ability to inspire and educate those who will shape the future,” Dr. Kimberly Robinson, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center said. “The Poarch Band of Creek Indians Auditorium is the heart of this magnificent new facility where camp trainees will graduate and launch into STEM careers and where the community, industry partners, and academia will come together to celebrate accomplishments past, present, and future.”
The auditorium can seat up to 1,000 people as well as be used for camp activities and external functions. The auditorium will serve as the launching point for the tens of thousands of people who attend Space Camp programs and visit the Rocket Center for educational and community events. With its state-of-the art technology, it will be the site for presentations from astronaut speakers to visiting dignitaries.
“The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is known all over the world, and we are honored and excited to be part of building its new Space Camp Operations Center,” Stephanie A. Bryan, Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Chair & CEO, said. “Space Camp has long been a source of pride in our state for encouraging young people from many countries and cultures to pursue careers in space including astronauts, engineers, highly trained technicians, and leaders in both the public and private sectors. As technology continues to advance at lightning speed, we believe the
learning experiences the camp offers will play a pivotal role in producing a next generation of leaders in space, and we are proud to support this unique and important Alabama institution.”
About the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is home to Space Camp®, Space Camp® Robotics, Aviation Challenge® and U.S. Cyber Camp®, as well as the Apollo 16 capsule, the National Historic Landmark Saturn V rocket and the world-class INTUITIVE® Planetarium. The USSRC is the Official Visitor Center for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and is a showcase for national defense technologies developed at the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal.