Space Camp parents guide

Space Camp Parent Guide

Overall B+

A group of kids attending NASA's space camp get more than the brochure promised when they are accidentally launched into orbit.

Release date June 6, 1986

Violence B
Sexual Content A-
Profanity C+
Substance Use A

Why is Space Camp rated PG? The MPAA rated Space Camp PG

Run Time: 107 minutes

Parent Movie Review

For any kid who’s stared into the night sky and dreamed of orbiting the earth, Space Camp is the perfect experience. For female astronaut, Andie (Kate Capshaw) it’s a poor substitute for the real thing.

Passed up by NASA for their next mission, Andie’s consolation prize is spending the summer putting pint-sized travelers through their paces at space camp with her husband Zach (Tom Sherritt). Assigned to her group is Kathryn (Lea Thompson), an intense intellectual whose plan to be the first woman shuttle commander sends her jockeying for leadership of the other team members, Tish, Rudy and Max, an under-aged tag-a-long. Joining the group by design is Kevin Donaldson (Tate Donovan), a spoiled playboy who conceded to the camp in exchange for a new Jeep from dad. He plans to put in his time and nothing else.

Under the tutelage and stern eye of their mentor, the students play astronaut, practice simulated flight patterns and boggle their emergency landing procedure. When the unruly gang is chosen for an unexpected field trip—the chance to sit in the shuttle’s cockpit during an engine test fire—they are accidentally blasted into orbit by a solid rocket malfunction. (This is where the story gets a little hokey.) Devoid of long range radio contact and outfitted with a limited supply of oxygen, this rag-bag of amateurs must use their newly-acquired skills, creativity and teamwork to make it back to Earth while NASA officials watch and wait.

The ofttimes simplistic solutions for the crew of Space Camp may seem insipid to young viewers fed action flics, but this light-hearted, galactic outing does portray teens as smart, capable and inventive when the need arises, qualities frequently missing in recent movies.

Scheduled for release in early 1986, the debut of this space adventure was delayed following the real-life Challenger shuttle disaster on January 28. But for an aspiring astronaut too young to remember the shadow of that event, Space Camp offers a fun way to kick back and space out.

Starring Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, Larry B. Scott, Joaquin Phoenix. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release June 6, 1986. Updated

Space Camp
Rating & Content Info

Why is Space Camp rated PG? Space Camp is rated PG by the MPAA

Overall: B+
While the story line is often implausible, this film does champion the value of teamwork, leadership and creativity in teens.

Violence: B
Older kids are shown teasing younger child, Name calling and bickering among crew members, Intense scenes shown in shuttle lift off, flight and re-entry.

Sexual Content: A-
Brief kissing between two teens.

Language: C+
8 mild profanities, 8 moderate and at least 7 terms of Deity. two references of screw-up as in mess up.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A
Nothing significant.

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Space Camp Parents' Guide

In the film, Kathryn admits that there is a difference between being a boss and being a leader. What qualities make them different? Can a person be a leader and a boss?

While the movie portrayed these teens as able to fly the space shuttle after only days, real astronauts spend years training. Have you seen other movies that depict unrealistic feats?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Space Camp movie is March 2, 2004. Here are some details…

Related home video titles:

For more information on NASA’s Space Camp, check out
To learn more about the Challenger disaster, see

Space camp features a friendship between young Max and a robot. For other movies that depict unlikely friendships between men and machines, see Iron Giant , Bicentennial Man , and Short Circuit . For the classic inter-galactic friendship, check out E.T. .

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