As Kenny Gironda spun, tumbled and rolled around, while alternating between accelerating and slowing down, the people standing nearby became a blur.
Kenny, 14, who was strapped in while standing up, kept his head back and his eyes open so he didn't get nauseous as the Multi-Axis Trainer's three rings spun at once, simulating what it felt like to be in a tumbling space shuttle.
The Huntington Beach resident was awarded a scholarship to SPACE CAMP in Huntsville, Ala., from Oak Middle School in Los Alamitos, where he attended last year. The now-ninth-grader flew across the country by himself at the end of August to spend five days engrossed in all things space — making the summer one of his best ever.
"If I had the opportunity again, I'd take it," he said.
He slept in a rocket-shaped dorm room, learned the country's space history firsthand and got to feel what it was like to bunny hop on the moon. One of the most memorable parts for Kenny, though, was working as a scientist on a mock mission on the International Space Station.