->''"God damn it, launch us or we're gonna explode!!"''
->''"My god...we have lift off."''

''[=SpaceCamp=]'' is a family adventure movie from 1986 about a group of kids at a space camp who unexpectedly get launched up into space for real. However the shuttle was still in pre-flight prepping and thus wasn't prepared for any kind of full mission. With only a limited air supply and virtually no communication with Earth, the kids and their instructor (played by Kate Capshaw) must [[PowerOfFriendship work together]] to get home safe and sound.

It was released amid a marketing nightmare that came about from the 1986 ''[[TooSoon Challenger]]'' [[TooSoon shuttle disaster]] that claimed the lives of seven American astronauts and grounded the shuttle program indefinitely until the cause could be determined and rectified. It didn't help, either, that the malfunction in the film [[HarsherInHindsight partly resembled the malfunction in life]].

Many contemporary reviews were colored by the disaster. More recent reviews don't treat it much better. But some saw past the disaster and were moved by it: in [[http://www.avclub.com/articles/lea-thompson,69639/ a 2012 interview,]] Lea Thompson said many fans told her they were inspired by the film.
!!''[=SpaceCamp=]'' provides examples of:

* AIIsACrapshoot: Although in this case it's more ArtificialStupidity rather than Artificial Malevolence.
* ActivationSequence: After hearing Max's wish to go into space, Jinx goes to the NASA main network, which he activates in a scene where the top of his main body lifts up with flashing lights coming out of it, while the computers activate one by one, their lights and screens coming on. He does it a second time later, but since we've already seen in by that point this one only lasts about five seconds as opposed to more than thirty.
* AlmostOutOfOxygen: A major plot point. [[spoiler:Twice.]]
* ArcWords: "[[ABoyAndHisX Max and Jinx]], friends forever."
* AscendedFanboy: Max is an avid fan of ''{{Franchise/Star Wars}}'' and will make numerous references to the franchise in nearly every scene he appears in.
** Kevin even plays the part of Obi-wan Kenobi to help Max get the courage to help Andie. This was after earlier in the film [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech calling him out on his immaturity, and his over-the-top fandom specifically]].
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Tish is in the middle of explaining her idea of sending Morse Code to NASA when she sees something interesting out the window.
* BatmanGambit: Jinx the robot tries to get Max into space while he's on the space shuttle "to fulfill his wish". He hacks into NASA's network and figures out how to fire up one of the shuttle's booster rockets, which on its own will cause the shuttle to shoot up briefly, then crash. However, his gambit is the operators at the control room will see the one booster firing up and choose to fire up the second booster to avoid killing everyone on board. Sure enough, it works.
* BigOMG: Max floats off into space behind a rogue oxygen tank, but ''this'' happens when he breaks off a satellite dish panel he grabbed to stop himself.
-->'''Andie:''' You think you're scared now? Wait 'til your parents get the bill for breaking ''Daedalus''.
* ConvenientlyClosePlanet: The shuttle is launched outside of its launch window into an unplanned orbit -- but they still manage to make it to the unoccupied space station for supplies.
* CoolCar: Kevin's Jeep and Zack & Andie's Porsche Speedster.
* CoolPlane: A couple of examples.
** Andie is seen getting out of a T-38 Talon trainer.
** Kathryn is seen [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight landing her Stearman bi-plane]] next to the Camp's parking lot.
* CoolSpaceship: The Space Shuttle Atlantis.
* DidNotThinkThisThrough: JINX apparently never considered that sending an unprepared shuttle, specifically one with just one tank of oxygen and short-range radio only, into space with people on board might not be the best idea. It only occurs to him after ''Atlantis'' is already in orbit, by which time it's too late to do anything about it.
* TheEighties
* EntendreFailure: Jinx the robot.
* EurekaMoment: [[spoiler:After they miss the re-entry window, Kathryn realizes an alternative landing site: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Sands_Space_Harbor White Sands, New Mexico]]]].
** When Zac starts to realize Jinx is spouting out letters, not just breaking down again.
-->'''Jinx:''' C-O-M-E-I-N-C-O-N-T-R-O-L-C-O-M-E-I-N-C-O-N-T-R-O-L Come in, Control! Max's code!\\
'''Zac:''' Morse code?\\
'''Jinx:''' Max's code!\\
'''Zac:''' [[PrecisionFStrike Damn it]], they're talking to us!
* EveryoneKnowsMorse: One of the campers thinks to use a telemetry switch to send Morse code in place of the nonfunctional radio. But it takes quite a while for anyone in the control room to notice: before Jinx identifies it, it's lost among all the other blinking lights.
* FieldPromotion: Andie takes the pilot seat over from Kathryn when ''Atlantis'' is launched. She later kicks Kevin out of the commander seat in favor of Kathryn for the orbit change burn to ''Daedalus''. In the end, Kevin and Kathryn would return to their original seats as commander and pilot following Andie's injury.
* FreakyFashionMildMind: Tish, full stop. Under the EightiesHair and ValleyGirl look is a genius with PhotographicMemory and a perfect SAT score.
* GoneHorriblyRight / BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: "I wish I could go up into space."
* InstantAIJustAddWater: See ReedRichardsIsUseless.
* {{Jerkass}}: Kevin. At the beginning of the film, he switches his credentials with those of another attendee, just so he could get to be with Kathryn. Also, in another scene, after he and Kathryn were discovered to be making out at the launchpad, he yells at Max for Jinx spilling everything.
* LesserOfTwoEvils: The Mission Controller has to choose between letting the the booster fire when it overheats, blowing the shuttle and all on board to atoms or launching a not fully flight ready shuttle with children on board into space with an uncertain outcome.
* LikeRealityUnlessNoted: In some ways the tech and abilities of the Space Camp NASA are ahead of us - there's a sentient robot, there's a space station already up in orbit with the necessary oxygen tanks - but when the plot demands it everything was at the level it is when the film was released.
* LiteralMinded: Jinx the robot, who obeys any words to him that sound vaguely like a command. His ruthlessness to fulfill them makes him a...
** LiteralGenie: Who sends the kids into space.
* MoodWhiplash: The kids go from excited to panicked very quickly when the thermal curtain fails.
* NewRulesAsThePlotDemands: No one seems to question Kevin for swapping his credentials with a Japanese kid just to get on the same team as Kathryn.
* NobodyPoops: {{Averted}}. Max has to figure out the shuttle's space toilet.
* NoOSHACompliance: NASA straps seven kids on the space shuttle unsupervised by a NASA employee, and seals the door. This is negligent even without being accidentally launched, no matter how good their grades at Space Camp were.
** Handwaved in the film; when Zack is pinning up the announcement he mentions the Camp trying to get permission to have campers in the test. After all, accidental launches only happen once in 4 billion years, right?
* OhCrap: When Jinx initiates the thermal curtain failure on one booster, everyone in Mission Control and the astronaut instructor on board the shuttle have a collective one. The situation's dire nature is punctuated by how Andie commands a launch while at least two of her students on-board are openly panicking.
-->'''Andie:''' Light Booster A, [[PrecisionFStrike goddamnit]]! '''''LAUNCH US, OR WE'RE GONNA EXPLODE!'''''
* ProductPlacement:
** Rudy mentions [[UsefulNotes/McDonalds Big Macs]]
** Kevin mentions 7-Eleven, and drives a Jeep.
* RealityEnsues: After the initial euphoria of orbital flight, Max says he wants to go home, and the questions start as the kids try to wrap their heads around exactly what happened. Andie takes charge immediately, telling them they ''will'' get home.
* RecycledTrailerMusic: The main theme became stock trailer music for years afterward.
* RedWireBlueWire: A modified version, to connect the oxygen tank.
** They both look at the plans, and are sure that their blue hose is the only correct one. Perhaps they were both correct and the blue hoses are both for oxygen?
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Space Camp has a sentient, AI robot which is capable of bypassing failsafes to launch a shuttle, but NASA is still counting on the shuttle and mindless computers. Possibly justified: it's pointed out that Jinx is not used more prominently because he tends to make mistakes.
** [[FridgeLogic So why has no one thought to reprogram him?]]
* {{Robot Buddy}}: Take a guess.
* ShoutOut: Count all the ''Franchise/StarWars'' references.
* ShownTheirWork: The re-entry sequence has been praised as one of the most realistic depictions of the shuttle returning to earth ever filmed.
* SpiritualSuccessor: 2013's ''Space Warriors'' is this to ''Space Camp''.
* TapOnTheHead / HardHead: [[spoiler:Andie.]]
** Actually handled relatively accurately. [[spoiler:She is heard wearily on the radio shortly after she was knocked out, suggesting she wasn't out for long. When she is rescued, she is treated for a shoulder injury, explaining why she couldn't assist in her own rescue.]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Kevin, upset that he was ratted out for his "date" with Kathryn, takes his frustration out on Max when he finds out Jinx did it, focusing on the kid's incessant ''Franchise/StarWars'' {{Fan Boy}}ism.
** Not long after, Andie rips into the Blue Team when a mission simulation goes bad.
* ThingsGetReal
* TooDumbToLive: In context, anyway. Surely, Rudy--who was put in charge of "equipment function and operation"--would've figured out by then that the Shuttle's on-orbit propulsion system was not the same as the launch propulsion system before suggesting it as a source of oxygen.
-->'''Rudy:''' What about the propulsion system? We could breathe the liquid oxygen from there.\\
'''Tish:''' The propulsion system uses nitrogen tetroxide, Rudy. We wanna breathe, not dry clean our lungs.
* UnusualEuphemism: From Kevin to Andie.
-->'''Kevin:''' Hey! Great boosters!\\