When you were a kid, did you dream of going into space? Maybe you had a coloring-book about a lunar voyage. Or maybe you and your best friend tried to create anti-gravity out of cleaning products and accidentally killed a tree in your front yard. Y'know, hypothetically.
If any of this sounds even remotely familiar, it's a safe bet that NASA figured into your dreams.

They were definitely in ours. We dreamed of going on a mission to the moon, to another planet, or even just floating around up there, experiencing weightlessness. We imaged that somehow, at this mythical place called "space camp" we could get a taste of that. But space camp was expensive. It just wasn't in the cards.

So we're creating our own space camp. Gizmodo Space Camp. For free. Online. For you. And it starts today.

We went to NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in Pasadena, CA and NASA Ames in Mountain View, CA. We went looking for the stories you haven't seen. We wanted to talk to the people you haven't heard from. We wanted to show you things you had no idea that anybody was working on. We were going fishing, basically. Well, we scored.

In the days to come you are going to meet marvels of robotics. You'll see breakthroughs in medicine that may save your life. You'll learn the process a concept goes through to become a reality. This is rocket science, but you won't have to be a rocket scientist to understand it. Sure, it's not a zero-G parabolic dive, but we hope that by the end of this series you all feel just a little bit closer to the world beyond our world. It won't replace our dreams, but it might just augment them.

Later today you're going to meet one of the most amazing robots you'll ever see. Check back soon...

Space Camp is all about the under-explored side of NASA. From robotics to medicine to deep-space telescopes to art. For these couple of weeks we'll be coming at you direct from NASA JPL and NASA Ames, shedding a light on this amazing world. You can follow the whole series here.

Video shot by Judd Frazier and Bill Bowles, edited by Woody Jang.

Special thanks to Mark Rober, Jessica Culler, Dan Goods, Val Bunnell, and everybody at NASA JPL and NASA Ames for making this happen. The list of thank yous would take up pages, but for giving us access, and for being so generous with their time, we are extremely grateful to everyone there.

Space Camp® is a registered trademark/service of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. This article and subsequent postings have not been written or endorsed by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center or Space Camp®. To visit the official space camp website, click here.