One Wagga boy has returned home after making a giant leap towards an experience of a lifetime.
Matthew Redway, who is 17 years old, has returned home after visiting Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama - the birthplace of NASA - for an "unbelievable" adventure that had him taking part in space missions, building rockets, floating around like an astronaut and much more.
He said the once-in-a-lifetime experience had exceeded his expectations.
"I thought it was great opportunity for someone so young and ... you never know where it might lead," he said. "I expected it to be fun, cool and a chance to learn some new things, but now that I'm back it was totally different to what I expected."
Although he had the chance to float like an astronaut while fixing a space shuttle, learning how to scuba dive was the biggest highlight.
"Scuba diving was unbelievable and more exciting than what I expected. It was my first time in a controlled swimming pool and you make so many good friends there," he said.
While he was not gone for long, Matthew feels like he has come back as "a different person". He said the trip gave him the freedom to focus his passions and interests with like-minded people.
With aspirations to become a pilot, Matthew said the opportunity has "opened up new pathways" for him to explore and make unlikely connections.
In other news:
"A lady knew I wanted to be a pilot and I got to link with her and talk about the Canadian Airforce and it opened a new pathway for me because I have a Canadian citizenship," he said.
Wagga's Lachlan Bruce, who is 11 years old, has his sights set on Space Camp next year. Although he was able to hear about Matthew's experiences, he has "no idea" what to expect, but hopes it will be great.
"I remember always being passionate about space. I like learning things and I'm really interested in my surroundings," he said.
Lachlan is one of 10 children going on the adventure next year. One Giant Leap local representative Vivienne Hughes encouraged anyone interested in the experience could contact her on 0421 221 451.