This is an urgent post made on recommendation of the executive committee.
In Last 2 days there have been number of calls from general public and student community regarding "Space Camp" conducted in USA. All most all network offices of the society was abuzz with calls in this regard. This is good sign to note when people started taking interest in Space Sciences.
The first set of calls were received by the society in response to "Gujarat Students Leave from Space Camp in US" published in various newspapers.
Second was in response to article in the Deccan Chronicle "Little Astronauts .... Space Camp India ". Initially we responded thinking that article was in response to activity conducted last year under the banner "Destination NASA" by some private organisation. However with call of support from Corporate agencies for sponsorship and todays article in The Hindu dated 7th August, 2008 inviting applications by Space Camp India, forced us to respond with post on this site with some clarfications.
Following are clarifications in response to the queries.
SOCIETY ROLE/ASTRONAUT TRAINING/TEENS AS ASTRONAUTS/VISIT TO SPACE CENTER ISSUE :
QUESTION 1. Does the society accept/facilitate any visit to "Space Camp"?
ANSWER. No as of now society does not have any such facility. However various Education linked projects with visit of students to space agencies are being planned by the society.
QUESTION 2. After participation in space camp OR attending Astronaut training programme at the camp. Does one gets certified as "Astronaut" ?
ANSWER. NO. Please do not be in this impression, as astronaut selection is different process. Just by participation in Space Camp from India you will not become a "Astronaut".
To know more about how to Astronauts Selection or Training Click here.
QUESTION:3. Is NASA going to study the effects of space on young teens?
ANSWER: Currently, NASA has no plans to send teenagers into space. Astronauts are selected through a normal process involving vigorous educational and physical training. Please click web site here for further information on becoming an astronaut. Click Here or here.
ARTICLE IN DECCAN CHRONICLE AND HINDU :
QUESTION 4. There is an article about applications being invited to be received by one "Space Camp India" ? Is it necessary to contact them if we have to visit U.S.SPACE CENTER ?
ANSWER. I. We are not sure about applications called for by that agency. Nor do we know about, if they have permission or authorised to receive such applications on behalf of U.S.SPACE CENTER. However, we have checked and there is no mention of said agency anywhere in the website of U.S. SPACE CENTER.
II.Any one interested can directly contact the U.S. Space Center, we like to suggest general public to directly contact the U.S. SPACE CENTER through their official website http://www.spacecamp.com/ >. In view of "Space Camp, India" organisation's noble intentions people may request their guidance. Here is the link in case you plan your visit considering various factors including costs. Click here various packages and rates.
FOR CORPORATE ORGANISATONS/SPONSORS ISSUE :
The said article asks for Sponsors support. We like to suggest that the nature of "Space Camp" is costly and private affair depending on choice of individual or educational institution. However society would welcome Corporate entities to encourage in sending "Government School Students or poor students". In this regard society would plan to facilitate the visit of such sponsored students.
5. I am a Parent/Executive/... Can i attend Space Camp ?
Ans. Yes you can . There are number of products/pacakages offered by the Space Center catering to different age groups. Please visit the www.spacecamp.com. see question 4 costs link above.
QUESTION 6. Does society help in Visa process etc...?
ANSWER: NO. For an educational trip of this sort, we feel there should not be much trouble. Letter of invitation or confirmation of participation in the space camp from the U.S. Space Center may immensely help.
QUESTION: Where is the office of "Space Camp India" ? Is it authorised by U.S. SPACE CENTER ?
Answer : Society is not aware about the office of the said organisation or its association. Yes its fact that 10 Years of society activities put us in high esteem.It is however very wrong to contact us. We suggest people consult the authorities at said organisation or U.S. SPACE CENTER for full details.
QUESTION 7. Often we see various campaigns by Planetary Society, USA or various government and non government organisations, private agencies. We get the feeling if these agencies are endorsed by NASA. What is society's position ?
Here is one of the guidelines of NASA extracted from NASA site in the context of this post.
"NASA material may not be used to state or imply the endorsement by NASA or by any NASA employee of a commercial product, service, or activity, or used in any manner that might mislead. If the NASA material is to be used for commercial purposes, especially including advertisements, it must not explicitly or implicitly convey NASA's endorsement of commercial goods or services. If a NASA image includes an identifiable person, using the image for commercial purposes may infringe that person's right of privacy or publicity, and permission should be obtained from the person."
Our Position :
Society in its all communication is always clear about above. Importantly society adopted various projects pertaining to various missions indirectly or directly with the help of partner organisations of the project. However though authorised for two projects society was always careful not endorse or claim endorsement from NASA/ESA other agencies in any form.
However society likes to caution general public that in view of above clarifications kindly I. ensure utmost care be taken in your financial dealings with any organisation or persons. II.Please donot be carried away with "Sales Talk" or Promises. III. Articles in Newspaper doesn't doesn't validate all aspects of your decsion to visit the the center. Hence importantly ensure your are convinced with complete details or least contact the U.S. SPACE CENTER or Local embassy office of U.S. if need be.
*Space Camp India above referred is "Space Camp Ambassadors, India".