Halbesleben was part of the Aviation Challenge - Mach I Program, a program specifically designed for students who have an interest in military aviation and the mechanics of flight. Halbesleben spent the week training with a team that flew a simulated F-18 fighter jet. The crew learned critical land- and water-survival skills and mastered Top Gun flying maneuvers. Halbesleben and crew returned in time to graduate with honors.
Aviation Challenge opened in 1990 in Huntsville and uses fighter pilot training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects. Students sleep in barracks designed to resemble military bays.
More than 750,000 trainees have graduated from Space Camp and its sister programs since its inception in Huntsville, Alabama in 1982, including STS-131 astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, European Space Agency astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti and NASA Expedition 48 astronaut Dr. Kate Rubins. Last year, children and teachers from all 50 states and 69 international locations attended Space Camp.