->''"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 the titular real life U.S. [=SpaceCamp=] 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 Creator/KateCapshaw) 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[[note]]Including a civilian school teacher.[[/note]] 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.
-->"Whoa. Is that India we're coming up on?"
* 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.
* BenevolentAI: Jinx, the robot that Max befriends.
* BigOMG: Max floats off into space behind a rogue oxygen tank, but he does ''this'' 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''.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: The version of the film released by Creator/FeatureFilmsForFamilies on VHS removes all the profanity, with the VHS cover actually advertising this version as "The Incredible Adventure Now Made Even Better For Families!".
* ChekovsGun: Or in this case, Tish's belt, which is used to help Max fit inside the space suit so he can help Andie bring back the oxygen tanks.
* 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 oxygen supplies.
* CoolCar: Kevin's Jeep and Zach & Andie's Porsche Speedster.
* CoolPlane: A couple of examples.
** Andie is seen getting out of a T-38 Talon trainer.
** Kathryn is seen [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight coming out of her father's 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.
* EdutainmentShow: To a degree. It explains various things related to [=SpaceCamp=], the astronaut program, and the shuttle itself[[note]]Including how astronauts go to the bathroom in space.[[/note]].
* TheEighties
* EntendreFailure: Jinx the robot.
* EurekaMoment: [[spoiler:After they miss the re-entry window, Kathryn realizes the same alternative landing site that Rudy vaguely remembered: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Sands_Space_Harbor White Sands, New Mexico]], which Rudy got mixed up with White Plains, New York]].
** When Zach 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!\\
'''Zach:''' Morse code?\\
'''Jinx:''' Max's code!\\
'''Zach:''' [[PrecisionFStrike Damn it]], they're talking to us!
* EveryoneKnowsMorse: Tish[[note]]Who was "assigned" to "communications" at the beginning of the movie.[[/note]] 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 a PhotographicMemory and a perfect SAT score.
* GoneHorriblyRight / BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: "I wish I could go up into space."
** Andie was also wishing to go into space when she got scrubbed from the next launch; like Max, she ended up getting her wish anyway.
* InstantAIJustAddWater: Jinx is a malfunctioning but sentient AI robot.
* {{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 alone when it overheats, which will pitch the rocket over on its nose, crushing the shuttle and instantly squashing everyone on board into a pancake, or launching a not-fully-flight-ready shuttle with children on board into space and an extremely uncertain outcome.
* LikeRealityUnlessNoted: In some ways the tech and abilities of the NASA shown in the movie are ahead of us - there's a sentient robot, a space station already up in orbit with the necessary oxygen tanks - but unless the plot demands otherwise, everything is mostly at the level it was when the film was released.
* LiteralGenie: Jinx sends the into space when he hears one wish to go there, no matter the consequences.
* LiteralMinded: Jinx the robot, who obeys any words to him that sound vaguely like a command.
* MachineMonotone: Both JINX the robot, and the voice given to the computer he communicates with.
* 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 [=SpaceCamp=] were.
** Handwaved in the film; when Zach 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 campers on-board are openly panicking.
-->'''Andie:''' Ignite 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: [=SpaceCamp=] has a sentient, AI robot which is capable of bypassing fail-safes 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.
* {{Robot Buddy}}: Take a guess.
* SceneryPorn: The first couple of minutes after they reach orbit consists of the Blue Team, including Andie, taking some time to watch Earth beneath them (specifically Europe and northern Africa) as they approach their first on-orbit sunset. It acts as a good emotional buffer before RealityEnsues, allowing them to tackle the task of getting back home from a more rational perspective.
-->'''Kathryn:''' I could lose the liftoff, but this is incredible!
* 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 ''[=SpaceCamp=]'' (somewhat).
* 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.
-->'''Andie''': [[BigShutUp QUIET!]] I don't want to hear about it. I ''can't'' hear it. You know why? Because you're all dead. You just burnt up on re-entry. Don't you understand what that means?! You're all dead, because you didn't work together as a team.
* ThingsGetReal: That simulation Kevin and his team failed? They end up having to deal with a real situation very much like it in their actual flight.
* ThisIsAWorkOfFiction: A disclaimer in the ending credits reads "The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's cooperation and assistance does not reflect approval of the contents of this film or the treatment of the characters depicted therein." (i.e. "Don't assume NASA's people necessarily behave the way you saw some of them behaving in this movie; [[RuleOfDrama some of that was just written that way to keep the story interesting]].")
* 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[[note]]Officially, it's known as ''Di''nitrogen Tetroxide, but the other name has also been used.[[/note]], Rudy. We wanna breathe, not dry clean our lungs.
* UnusualEuphemism: From Kevin to Andie.
-->'''Kevin''': Hey! Great boosters!
* YouWouldntBelieveMeIfIToldYou: When Ray is complaining to Zach, asking what to tell the press (who saw the unannounced launch just like everyone else within range), Zach recommends something like a SarcasticConfession without the sarcasm (since the whole situation sounds crazy enough without any).
-->'''Zach''': Tell'em the truth: we launched my wife and five kids from the [=SpaceCamp=]. They'll never believe it.