Space Camp Turkey started its journey with the slogan "We Shape Future Leaders" and today is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Space Camp Turkey, which was founded by late Kaya Tuncer as an Aegean Free Zone Development & Operating Company (ESBAS) enterprise on June 12th, 2000, opened its doors to the youth in Turkey and in the world to inspire them in shaping their career paths, exploring different cultures, and building international friendships.
Space Camp Turkey, one of the two space camps in the world, is continuously updating its curriculum and facility with the latest technological advancements. Every academic year, Space Camp Turkey is focused on increasing its program options while offering different educational content which include robotic designs, astronaut training simulators or space shuttle simulation mission to kids between the ages of 7-18.
Since 2000, we have had the opportunity to bring many innovations to life, both in our program content and in physical conditions of the facility. By adding a space station module to our simulated space shuttle mission, missions that were performed by NASA for 30 years, we had the opportunity to present a more realistic and challenging task to an activity that is known as the most beautiful and special activity we have implemented in Space Camp programs. By enriching our 6-day International Galactic Summer Camp programs, we have had some students return year after year to attend our camp programs for a total of 6 years.
With the renovation projects we have done; we renewed several different activities starting from the popular observatory activity to the “Generation: Mars” area, where we discover Mars and represent exemplary living quarters, with designs that inspire and capture the age. In order to offer the most up-to-date training content to our participants, we always followed the agenda closely; and with that we created the "Minecraft" program. We showed that there is no limit to creativity by using 3D Printer technology, and we sailed to unique adventures on the Moon surface and around Mars with “RIOT 3D” and “Hurricane 360” simulators using virtual reality technology. After continuing its renovation efforts in recent years, our institution has prepared its surprises for the students that will attend the International Galactic Summer Camp programs in August of 2020.
Over 24 special guests, including astronaut Douglas Hurley, who went to space with the SpaceX Demo-2 mission, and Charlie Duke, one of the 12 astronauts that walked on the moon, were hosted at Space Camp Turkey since its establishment.
Let's check out the important events that took place over the years at Space Camp Turkey;
- 2000 - Space Camp Turkey opened its doors to the world's youth on June 12, 2000 by the late Kaya Tuncer.
- 2002 - Through Global Friendship Through Space Education Foundation (GFTSE), young people from different countries and cultures found the opportunity to participate in the programs.
- 2003 - With the Partner School Science Program, Turkish and world youth came together to make joint studies in the fields of science and space technologies.
- 2004 - The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations Foundation (NECO) awarded our founder, Kaya Tuncer, the 2004 Ellis Island Medal of Honor at a gala ceremony on New York City’s Ellis Island for his contributions to international peace.
- 2004 - 2008 - Between these years, 445 scholarship participants from 71 different cities attended the National Space Camp Week and received training in the field of space sciences and technologies and made international friendships.
- 2010 - Space Camp Turkey turns 10! More than 100 thousand participants from 45 different countries attended the camp.
- 2011 - STS-135 Atlantis Crew Astronaut Douglas Hurley and other crew members that took part in NASA’s last space shuttle mission "STS 135", came together with our participants at Space Camp Turkey after returning from the historic mission.
- 2012 - Partner School Science Program – Online education was started with video conferencing connections with schools in Europe.
- 2013 - 10th year of Partner School Science Program! In 10 years, over 5.500 students from Turkey and the world has attended the program.
- 2013 - Charlie Duke, who served as lunar module pilot during NASA's Apollo 16 program, met with the participants of Space Camp Turkey as a special guest.
- 2014 - The "Competence-Based Learning Key to Successful Methodology- KEYS" project meeting, which was organizes as a part of the European Union Commission "LLP - Comenius", was completed. Six moderators from Bulgaria, Belgium and Italy, and 45 teachers from Izmir participated in the meeting held at Space Camp Turkey.
- 2014 - We Renovated! Along with the "Magic Planet" 360 viewing projection system, Mars tour with virtual reality and the planetarium system, we have also renovated our rocket construction, rocket design, and Suit Me Up classrooms.
- 2014 - 100th connection with NASA! The Partner School Science Program (PSSP) participants made a live videoconference connection with NASA and received information from expert Scott Anderson about the "Manned Flights to Mars" project.
- 2014 - ESBAS and Space Camp Turkey founder, the late Kaya Tuncer, was inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame during a ceremony held at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
- 2015 - Space Camp Turkey turns 15!
- 2016 - The first Family Space Camp Tour was organized.
- 2017 - Space Camp Turkey adds 2 brand new simulators to its programs. In the 360 degree rotating Hurricane 360 VR Simulator; VR glasses provide an exciting, high adrenaline virtual reality adventure, while the RIOT 3D Ride Simulator provides a true 3D ride on the Moon!
- 2017 - ESBAS, the parent company of Space Camp Turkey, was awarded the “2017 Turkey Excellence Award” by Quality Foundation (KalDer) during the 26th National Quality Congress award ceremony. KalDer evaluated Space Camp Turkey as ‘Good Practice’ in terms of ‘Sustainable Future Creation’.
- 2018 - Space Camp Turkey's interactive educational area "Generation Mars" Exhibit has its grand opening! The exhibit consists of different modules such as the habitat, laboratory, research and supply unit and also provides a chance to watch a short movie called "Life on Mars" with three-dimensional mapping technology. The students also learn about the difficulties of living on Mars and the technologies necessary to overcome these difficulties.
- 2019 - An exclusive Space Camp Tour for Teachers organized for the first time.
- 2020 - ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) connection was established! Live radio connection with NASA Astronaut Andrew Morgan at the International Space Station (UUI).
Our institution, which has been providing nonstop service for 20 years to raise the leaders of the future, is happy to continuously improve its service quality by being aware of how important the satisfaction of our teachers and students is. Our determination to add value to the cores of education will continue with each innovation we carry out. Space Camp Turkey is an experience every child should discover at least once in their lives. We hope to shed light on the visions of the children all over the world for many years.