US Space Trip 2023

The Science Faculty is planning another US Space Trip during the 2023 June/July holidays for students born in 2008 or earlier. The trip was initiated in 1992 and has proceeded every odd year since 1993 (except for 2021). The Space Trip offers students the opportunity to attend a facility in Huntsville, Alabama—the US Space and Rocket Center or ‘Space Camp’. It is a place where creativity, critical thinking, and teamwork forge strong bonds and help shape students’ aspirations. Space Camp programs culminate in realistic missions that require students to use all their skills in Science, Mathematics, and the Arts to achieve success.

Brisbane Girls Grammar School students choose between two programs that offer astronaut or pilot training. Those interested in astronaut training complete the Advanced Space Academy program while those wishing to train as naval aviators do Aviation ChallengeꟷMach III.

BGGS has been participating in Space Camp programs since 1992 and, over the past 30 years, we have seen the Advanced Space Academy training missions change to reflect NASA’s space exploration priorities at the time, from the space shuttle to the international space station to the current missions focusing on humankind’s journey to Mars. Pilots, engineers, doctors, botanists, and roboticists are the kinds of professionals that will be putting a human footprint on the soil of the red planet, so Advanced Space Academy prepares students for a future in which automated unmanned aerial systems (and spacecraft), robots and rovers create opportunities, as yet undefined. Trainees experience a variety of astronaut training exercises, engineering challenges, and teambuilding activities all culminating in an extended-duration simulated space mission to Mars.

The Aviation ChallengeꟷMach III program revolves around high-performance aviation. The program uses state-of-the-art jet simulators to test students’ skills. The simulator curriculum is centred on basic jet handling skills, preparation for graded missions, and the Top Gun competition. Students choose to be a pilot or the RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) and spend the first two days learning how to handle an aircraft and how to work together as a crew. The trainees come together as a larger team to complete objectives that cover air-to-air, air-to-ground, and carrier activities. At the end of the week, trainees compete for the Top Gun title by flying against other crews in a single-elimination competition. The best aircrew in the single-elimination earns the title. Trainees also complete a rescue mission using their newly-acquired escape and evasion skills.

More information about the programs offered by the US Space and Rocket Center can be found at:

While in the US, students visit other attractions, many with a space or technology theme. The proposed itinerary includes visits to Kennedy Space Center, a sightseeing tour of Washington DC and a variety of activities during a stopover in San Francisco. Students will leave Australia on Friday 16 June 2023 and return sometime around Tuesday 4 July 2023. The cost of the trip, although not yet finalised, will be about $11 000-$13 000 depending on flight costs, exchange rates and group size. Students will require about A$600 for food not included in the cost of the trip. A Parent Information Evening will be held in mid-August, at which time our travel agent will be able to provide a firm pricing. The first payment of $4000 will be due on booking in August with another payment of $4000 due in December 2022. The balance of the cost will be payable in March 2023. Payment options are available by contacting Finance on 3332 1368.

If you require further information about the US Space Trip 2023, please visit the display in K401 on Open Day, Friday 29 July, and refer to the US Space Trip 2023 page on Minerva. There will be an information session for students on Thursday 14 July at 1.30 pm in the Gehrmann Theatre.

If your daughter is interested in attending the US Space Trip, please click here to complete the expression of interest by Friday 5 August. Please do not hesitate to contact Dr Sally Stephens if you have any questions.