When Major Tom calls out to ground control, Barrett Littlefield wants to be the one to answer.
After four years of attending Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., the Oak Hall Episcopal School eighth-grader wants to work in mission control and build rockets.
"Space is vast. There are many things to discover and explore," Littlefield says.
His favorite planets are Earth and Saturn.
"Earth is the only one that can sustain life, and Saturn has rings made of rock, but it looks really nice, and the gases make it all different colors," Littlefield says.
The week-long camp trains students with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and decision-making.
Littlefield trained with a team that flew a simulated mission to the International Space Station, participated in experiments and completed an extra-vehicular activity, or spacewalk. He and the rest of the crew returned to Earth in time to graduate with honors.
"It's a really great learning experience because I've always been interested in space," Littlefield says.
Littlefield's favorite mock mission activities were being in mission control and in the shuttle.
"It's fun and suspenseful," he says. "It's great to act out and seems like you are on a real mission."
However, he didn't think being in the space station was as fun.
"I'm not a fan of the space station. It's a whole different thing," he says. "It seems more fun to be in the action than stationary."
Littlefield added that he would miss things from Earth like playing golf and eating pizza if up on the space station.
Traveling to the camp also proved to be fun. When he first went to the camp, his family took a car. Now the family flies to Alabama.
"It's really fun, because we fly up in the air and see all the way down and it's a lot faster," Littlefield says.
He is the son of Scott and Kristin Littlefield, Marietta.
For schedules and registration information, visit www.spacecamp.com or call (800) 63-SPACE.