‘SpaceCamp’ Suffers A Movie Malfunction


With a cast that included Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, Joaquin Phoenix (his feature film debut), Tate Donovan, and Tom Skerritt what could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately for SpaceCamp, what was supposed to be a somewhat light hearted action/adventure movie turned into a marketing nightmare. The movie was scheduled to be released in early 1986, but on January 28 the real-life shuttle Challenger exploded 74 seconds after liftoff, claiming the lives of seven American astronauts.

After the Challenger disaster, SpaceCamp was pushed back months. When it was finally sent to theaters, it grossed less than $10 million in the U.S. Eerily enough, the malfunction simulated in the film involved the solid rocket booster and was similar to the actual cause of the Challenger accident.