Part 2: USSRC’s Budget, Expanding Space Camp & Public Greenway

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The U.S. Space and Rocket Center has implemented STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) into its educational programs.

Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO, talks with Paul Finley about what students are learning as they tour the center.

Barnhart also addresses the center’s current budget.

“One of the most difficult things for any leader is making sure they have the right people in
the organization, and making sure the organization is the right size to serve its mission,” said Dr. Barnhart.  “If you have to make reductions in people, it’s better to do it. Do it now, do it early, and let it begin to heal.”

NASA: History vs. Future

Dr. Barnhart acknowledged changes to NASA’s mission have affected the center, but says the center is in a good place.

“It’s not ‘us and them’ anymore. It used to be NASA and private aerospace. Today it’s ‘we’.
Huntsville embodies that in a beautiful way,” said Dr. Barnhart.  “The whole world is changed; our cosmic egg has cracked, and we’re happy to be on the cusp of that.”

Dr. Barnhart says many of the people leading the private initiative for space travel are Space Camp graduates.

Expanding Space Camp

There are many improvements coming to Space Camp.  This includes expanding Aviation Challenge and enhancing robotics program for students.

There will also be changes the public sees.  The U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s property actually goes all the way to the Metro Kiwanis Sportsplex.  Dr. Barnhart says the Center is working with the City of Huntsville to build a greenway, and to expand the lakes around Aviation Challenge.


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