Locals graduate space academy

From press reports


Nathan Letteri and Adam Thomas recently attended Robotics Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, home of SPACE CAMP and NASA’s official Visitor information Center for Marshall Space Flight Center. The weeklong educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while training students with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and decision-making.

Adam and Nathan were part of the ROBOTICS ACADEMY Program, which is specifically designed for trainees who have a particular interest in science, engineering and aerospace. They spent the week training with a team that conquered the air, land and sea with state-of-the-art robotics. Adam, Nathan, and crew completed their training in time to hear retired Space Shuttle astronaut Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson speak at their graduation. Captain Gibson participated in five space flights throughout his NASA career spending more than 36 days in space. He was the Pilot for the Space Shuttle Challenger (4) flight and Commander for flights in the Orbiter Columbia (7), Space Shuttle Atlantis (3), Orbiter Endeavour (2) and Space Shuttle Atlantis (14).

Robotics Camp crew trainers who lead each 16-member team must have at least two years of college and the majority of staff are college graduates. SPACE CAMP operates year-round in Huntsville, Alabama, and uses astronaut-training techniques to engage trainees in real-world application of STEM subjects. Students sleep in quarters designed to resemble the ISS and train in simulators like those used by NASA. More than 600,000 trainees have graduated from SPACE Camp since its opening in Huntsville in 1982, including STS-131 astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger. Last year, children and teacher from all 50 states and 58 international locations attended SPACE CAMP.

Some notable graduates of SPACE CAMP are Colin, Chester and Truman Hanks (Tom Hanks’ sons), Chelsea Clinton, Karenna Gore, Amy Carter, Jesse Kristofferson (Chris Kristofferson’s son) Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Nathan is the son of Joseph Letteri and Michael Anne Smith of Louisville. He is in the seventh grade and attends Winston Academy.

Adam is the son of John and Denita Thomas of Noxapater. He is also in the seventh grade and attends Winston Academy and is a 2012 graduate of Space Camp.

Nathan Letteri and Adam Thomas at space camp.

Nathan Letteri and Adam Thomas at space camp.