A match between Polaris and Space Camp found traction on the red clay of Alabama and the simulated red soil of Mars. Polaris, a leader in the Powersports industry, is donating three Polaris vehicles to support U.S. Space & Rocket Center and its Space Camp program.
The vehicles will be used to transport Space Camp crew, trainees and visitors, as well as, rocket launch activities and other camp operations. The donation includes two electric GEM® models and one off-road RANGER® utility vehicle.
“Innovation is at the core of who Polaris is as a company, and we are thrilled to support an organization that encourages the leaders of tomorrow to never stop dreaming of what could be and making the seemingly impossible, possible,” said Stacy Bogart, president of the Polaris Foundation. “We are also happy to lend our support to a fellow member of the Huntsville community.”
With programs available for fourth through high-school aged students, Space Camp trainees cultivate teamwork, leadership and decision-making skills through simulated missions while gaining personal and professional insights that profoundly impact their futures. Space Camp alumni include NASA and ESA astronauts, engineers, scientists and technologists.
“Polaris is on the cutting edge of fun, off-road vehicles and efficient, zero emissions, street legal electric vehicles,” said Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, home of Space Camp. With hundreds of thousands of camp and museum visitors, Barnhart noted the need for a versatile transportation fleet for human conveyance and mission support. “This partnership with Polaris strengthens our ability to deliver a stellar STEM experience that inspires the next generation of scientists and engineers.”
The vehicles were coordinated through the Polaris Foundation and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation.
Launched in 1982, Space Camp has inspired and motivated young people from around the country and the world, with attendees from all 50 states, U.S. territories and more than 60 foreign countries. Based at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Space Camp trainees have an unparalleled environment to spur imagination while being surrounded by space, aviation and defense artifacts.
Supporting healthy communities where employees live is central to the Polaris Foundation’s vision. Polaris established a presence in Huntsville in 2015 with construction of a new 910,000 square-foot manufacturing facility. The Huntsville factory began vehicle production in June 2016.
About the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation
The U.S. Space & Rocket Education Center Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization raising funds and awareness to support events, programs and facilities of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Space Camp.
About the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is home to Space Camp® and Aviation Challenge®, the Apollo 16 capsule, the National Historic Landmark Saturn V rocket and world-class traveling exhibits. USSRC is the Official Visitor Center for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and a showcase for national defense technologies developed at the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal.
To learn more about the exciting programs and activities at the USSRC, go to www.rocketcenter.com.