The US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville on Friday announced the largest financial donation in the museum’s history, a $10 million donation to support space camp programs.
Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 and who participated in Aviation Challenge at Rocket Center as a child, made the donation.
Related: Boeing donates $3.5 million to new Space Camp center in Huntsville
According to Rocket Center, the money will be used for a new Inspiration4 Skills training center. The planned concept is a 40,000 square foot hangar-style building that will include space and aviation simulators, an indoor swimming pool, a mesh drone space, classrooms and a challenge course to train the next generation of astronauts, pilots and engineers.
Rocket Center said the donation enables the creation of a new state-of-the-art facility to bring together many of the immersive, scripted activities of Space Camp and Aviation Challenges under one roof and update the Space Camp program that has was founded in 1982 and turns 40 this week.
The rocket center announcement said Jared Isaacman is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, accomplished civilian pilot and commercial astronaut who participated in Aviation Challenge when he was 12 years old. Isaacman holds several world records and has participated in over 100 air shows. In September 2021, he commanded Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to orbit, spending three days aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.
The Inspiration4 mission has raised more than $250 million for St. Jude, the Memphis-based pediatric cancer research hospital that does not charge children’s families for their treatment.
The Rocket Center is in final site selection for the Inspiration4 Skills Training Center with an architectural firm for the design. Once operational, this new facility will expand water and other weather-dependent outdoor activities year-round and allow Space Camp to increase the number of interns who can attend in the off-season each year. summer.
A highlight of the new facility will be the display of an L-39 Black Diamond aircraft that Isaacman is also donating to the Rocket Center.