Being underwater puts you literally worlds away from being in outer space.
But the feeling, as Christian Becker learned at space camp, is similar.
As part of a weeklong program through Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Christian and fellow campers scuba-dived and were underwater for — by Christian’s best guess — at least a half hour.
“It was really easy to lose track of time,” he said.
It was his second year attending camp but his first time to don scuba gear in the name of discovery.
“I like water, so that was fun,” he said. “It was a very unique experience.”
A day trip to a pool at Hutchinson YMCA was just one of the events of the week, which Christian, who will be a freshman at Marion High School, helped pay for through a grant he secured by writing a 500-word essay on whether NASA or the private sector was more equipped to advance space exploration.
“I think that neither one can really do more than the other,” Christian said. “They both have their strengths and weaknesses. They kind of complement each other.”
In addition to scuba-diving experience, Christian and comrades did a simulated shuttle mission. This time around he was his group’s commander.
While he enjoys learning about outer space, he’s “more interested in the engineering aspect of it,” Christian said.