HUNTSVILLE, Ala. Aca,!" For 15 years, the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association (ASMDA) has been sponsoring children to attend Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for a week in the summer, with a total of more than 140 young people given that opportunity. This year was no different, and on July 7 the 2010 ASMDA Space Camp scholarship recipients gathered for activities and lunch to show their appreciation.

As part of their luncheon, the children heard words of encouragement from Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and ASMDA President Bob Pollard.

Pollard said after the luncheon that the organizationAca,!a,,cs intent is to Aca,!A"get these young people excited about the frontier of spaceAca,!A|get [them] involved in science and math programs.

Aca,!A"Our real hope is that they will become our nationAca,!a,,cs next generation of scientists and engineers,Aca,!A? he said.

The children definitely seemed to recognize the opportunity they were presented by receiving the scholarships and were all thrilled to be a part of Space Camp.

Aca,!A"It makes me happy, that this is the #1 space camp and I get to come here,Aca,!A? said 10-year-old Aurora Truelove of Delta Junction, Alaska. Aca,!A"I want to work for the Space and Rocket Center when I grow up to train other kids at space camp!Aca,!A?

Aca,!A"Not only do I get to go to space camp, but I get to do lots of special stuff like this luncheon and wearing a flight suit,Aca,!A? said Davis Toomey, 11, a seventh-grader from here. Aca,!A"My favorite part has been the simulator, because it feels like you are really in space or on a mission.Aca,!A?

The children arenAca,!a,,ct the only ones who are appreciative.

Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cm very delighted that your committee chose my daughter as a recipient for one of your scholarships,Aca,!A? said Victoria Dixon, mother of Malika Woods of Madison, Ala., in an email to the ASMDA organizers. Aca,!A"Our entire family has been extremely excited!Aca,!A?

The ASMDA scholarships are open to any child, 9-11 years old, of a parent or guardian who is a member of ASMDA and is assigned to USASMDC/ARSTRAT, Program Executive Office Missile and Space, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, Missile and Space Intelligence Center, Marshall Space Flight Center and the Missile Defense Agency (military, civilian or a contractor working for corporate members of ASMDA).

To apply, children must provide a copy of their most recent report card and a short (200-600 word) hand-written essay on subjects such as the importance of space and the future of space exploration.

The ASMDA scholarship package includes the scholarship, round-trip airfare from parent's work location, Space Camp flight suit, Space Camp clothing package, phone card, small amount of spending cash and any unaccompanied minor travel fees.

ASMDA is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to support USASMDC/ARSTRAT, PEO-M&S, JFCC-IMD, MSIC, NASA Marshall and MDA in the attainment of their goals and visions. For more information on ASMDA, please visit