Smoky Row student earns Commander’s Cup at Space Camp


Elle Dominy has always enjoyed the night skies and space.

Now that the 11-year-old Carmel resident has attended Space Camp, she is fascinated by it.

CIC COM 0824 Space Camp
Smoky Row Elementary fifth-grader Elle Dominy pauses at Space Camp. (Photo courtesy of Dominy family)

The Smoky Row Elementary fifth grader attended the July 25-30 Space Cup Expedition 44 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., and received her graduation certificate July 29.

“I really enjoyed the planetarium,” Dominy said. “Learning about the constellations and asterisms was a magical experience.”

The weeklong educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math while training students and with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and problem solving.

“It seemed like a fun and interesting experience, especially learning about zero gravity and how it would feel,” Dominy said.

The program is specifically designed for trainees who have a passion for space exploration. Dominy spent the week training with a team that flew a simulated space mission to the International Space Station, the moon or Mars. The crew participated in experiments and successfully completed an extra-vehicular activity, or spacewalk. Dominy and her crew returned to Earth in time to graduate with honors.

Dominy was in charge of the winning Orbiter team that won the Commander’s Cup. There were 29 teams for Space Camp with nine to 11 team members.

“The key to winning the Commander’s Cup was staying calm during the mission,” Dominy said. “The mission was to complete several steps for the launch of the Orbiter. Each person had a role in the mission, and in order for a successful mission, everyone needed to play their role on time. As the commander, I was in charge of guiding the Orbiter crew and responsible for landing the Oribter.”

Dominy said she would like to be an astronaut, and her interests include animal research in space.

For more, visit