Some of the most disappointing words at the space center are, "Sorry, but we are out of time and we have to end your mission now." Field trips last just under two hours and it is a difficult thing for students to learn their position, get underway safely, encounter the problem, and save the universe all in such a short time. That's why there are private flights, overnighters, and summer camps.
Private flights are setup to allow a group of friends or family to come and experience the space center together in a convenient time frame. These are really well suited for birthday parties as it allows the group to have a good time for two and a half hours, it doesn't take up the whole day, and it is as affordable as going to the movies. Afterward you can go home to cake and have fun talking about the adventure you just experienced.
Overnighters are probably the most popular because they allow students to really get immersed in their mission. For a total of 5 flight hours the crew will head off into space and face the unknown. Landing on strange planets, bartering with traders, battling space pirates, exploring nebulae, and completely escaping reality from Friday night to Saturday morning. Many of the overnight weekends are reserved by teachers so that their students can all sign up for the same date. This means that when they get there they are going with their friends and not experiencing being away from home for the night with complete strangers.
Summer camps are the ultimate experience without any time restrictions allowing amazing simulator experience mixed with classroom activities. Many of the activities include building and launching rockets, teamwork exercises, science experimentation, and of course even longer more elaborate simulator missions. Summer camps can range from 1 to 4 days in length; some spending the night, others coming in the morning and leaving in the evening for several days in a row. With a variety of options parents can find a camp that best suits their child and gives them an opportunity to be involved in something unforgettable.