Space Mission Simulator 

 

The Challenger Learning Center Space Mission Simulator offers visitors the next best thing to actual space flight with a Mission Control room designed after NASA Johnson Space Center and an orbiting space station modeled after the laboratory on the International Space Station. During a space mission, team members work as scientists and engineers.

Onboard astronauts in the Space Station Simulator work with their counterparts in the Mission Control Simulator to fly one of our three simulated space missions: Rendezvous with a Comet, Return to the Moon, Voyage to Mars, Earth Odyssey and Lunar Quest. These simulations provide plenty of challenges for the crews in space and on the ground. From kindergarteners to adult groups, space mission simulations can be tailored for your group* for field trips, birthday parties, corporate team building, family reunions and much more!

*A minimum of nine people are required for a space mission simulation.*

Tiny Explorers (Pre-K)

Our “Tiny Explorer” program is made just for your early learners! We have two options to choose from: The first is a two-hour program at the CLC that features hands-on, space-themed activities and an age-appropriate planetarium show in the Downtown Digital Dome ($10 per student, $200 minimum). The second is an off-site program (we come to you!) featuring one and a half hours of hands-on activities and demonstrations. Each student will receive a ticket to come see a planetarium show in the Downtown Digital Dome ($15 per student, $200 minimum + travel).

Naut Programs (K-4th Grade)

During our K-1 “Mininauts” program, students use simple words and pictures while “Nanonauts” (grades 2-3) use beginner reading vocabulary and easy-to-follow directions to complete age-appropriate, standards-based STEM activities. Fourth graders become “Juniornauts” and have a blast doing hands-on activities about working in space. All programs feature a grade-level appropriate planetarium show with a “pre-show” by one of our instructors in the Downtown Digital Dome.

A two-hour program for up to 48 students is $350 and includes:
– An activity in the Space Mission Simulator
– A grade-appropriate, science Extra Venue Activity (EVA)

 

A three-hour program for up to 72 students is $500 and includes:
– An activity in the Space Mission Simulator
– Two grade-appropriate science EVAs

 

Mininauts Mars Explorers (k – 1st grade)
Students use their imagination to envision they are astronauts that have been living on Mars; 
and today they are returning home to Earth.  Students will engage in grade-appropriate
experiments and hands-on learning activities while taking advantage of being immersed
in our Spacecraft Simulator. 

 

 

 


Nanonauts Asteroid Explorers(2nd – 3rd grade)

Students will play the role of astronauts as they partake in a simulated 
version of NASA’s
OSIRIS- REx Mission, launched in September of 2016.  Students will engage in
grade-appropriate experiments and hands-on learning activities whil
e taking advantage
of being immersed in ourSpacecraft Simulator. 

 

Mission Simulations (5th grade-up)

 

The Challenger Learning Center Space Mission Simulator offers visitors the next best thing to actual space flight with a Mission Control room designed after NASA Johnson Space Center and an orbiting space station modeled after the laboratory on the International Space Station. During a space mission, team members work as scientists and engineers.

Onboard astronauts in the Space Station Simulator work with their counterparts in the Mission Control Simulator to fly one of our simulated space missions: Rendezvous with a Comet, Return to the Moon, Voyage to Mars, Earth Odyssey, Lunar Quest and Expedition Mars. These simulations provide plenty of challenges for the crews in space and on the ground. The space mission simulations are fun and educational for all ages and can be tailored for your group.

 

Rendezvous with a Comet
Students are sent on a mission to retrieve a sample from Comet Enke, a short-period comet that comes into close proximity with Earth every 3 ½ years.  While in route to Comet Enke, students will play the role of astronauts and scientists.  They will conduct research that will help them learn more about comets, engage in hands-on investigations to locate the comet in space, and perform various experiments to ensure the safety of the crew.

 

Return to the Moon
Students are sent on a mission back to the Moon to continue exploration and research of the lunar surface that was last done in 1972.  Students will either become astronauts, and be launched into space onboard the SLS spacecraft, or scientists working in Mission Control to plot a course toward the moon and relay vital instructions throughout the mission.  Both teams must work together to perform experiments and analysis to ensure crew safety and successful completion of the mission; to land on the moon.

 

Voyage to Mars
Set in the year 2076, in which humans have begun the scientific colonization of Mars.  Some students will play the role of astronauts that have been living on Mars Base 1 for the past two years, while others must become astronauts that have been traveling through space towards Mars for the past six months.  The crew must work together to complete the primary objective of landing safely on the Martian surface in order to perform a crew exchange.    Various teams will also be involved in a secondary objective that is to launch a probe to a specified location found to have potential for another colonization site.

 

Earth Odyssey
Students will become astronauts and embark on mission to the International Space Station, the world’s leading research lab located in orbit 250 miles above the Earth.  While there, students will engage in hands-on experiments to learn more about the Earth and the changes that it is currently undergoing.  Some students will be stationed in Mission Control to perform analysis of the astronaut’s investigation results, while also monitoring flight plans, checking life support systems, and relaying vital instructions.  The crews must work together to complete the objective of launching a new satellite into orbit to replace one that was damaged by a CME. 

 

Lunar Quest
Set in the near future, students are sent on a mission to the moon where NASA currently has a lunar colony in place.  Some students will take on the role of astronauts stationed on the moon, while others must become astronauts launching from earth to replace the crew at Mission Control and send them back home to Earth.  Teams will perform investigations and analysis to learn what is needed to make a lunar colony sustainable including how energy is generated, how water is salvaged or recycled, and how oxygen is produced.  The crews are responsible for the safety of the lunar base and must be prepared to solve any problems that they may encounter.

 

Expedition Mars
Set some time in the future in which humans have colonized the Martian Moon, Phobos, and scientific expeditions are taken regularly from the base on Phobos down to the surface of Mars.  These scientific ventures are performed to conduct experiments and research with the hope of discovering life, or the remnants thereof. Some students will play the role of astronauts taking part in one of these expeditions, while others will be the scientists and engineers in Mission Control analyzing data and ensuring the success of today’s endeavor.  

Adult Team Building

Space travel is for all ages at the Challenger Learning Center! Become engineers and astronauts in our Mission Control room designed after NASA Johnson Space Center and an orbiting space station modeled after the laboratory on the International Space Station. Adult group missions are great for church groups, neighborhood associations, sororities & fraternities, business teams or other civic groups.

Looking for a unique and fun way to boost employee communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills?
Bring your team to the Challenger Learning Center where crew members work as scientists and engineers to fly a simulated space mission in our space station lab and mission control room. The missions are tailored to meet the specific needs of your group.

  • 18-32 adults (2 hours) – $400
  • Mini-Mission: 9-18 adults (1 hour) – $250

To book your Space Mission Simulation, please call our Sales Manager at 850.645.7777.

IMAX and Planetarium shows along with Dynamic Demos & Learning Labs can be added to your mission for added learning and fun!

Mission Simulator Facilities

Mission Control

The Mission Control component of the Space Mission Simulator is located on the first floor of the Challenger Learning Center and is designed to look and feel like Mission Control at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The “engineers” working in Mission Control must complete their tasks, share information with their “astronaut” classmates in Space Station and direct the “astronauts” to their next task. Most importantly, the “engineers” in Mission Control must maintain constant contact with the “astronauts” aboard Space Station.

Space Station Laboratory

The Space Station component of the Space Mission Simulator is located on the second floor of the Challenger Learning Center and is modeled after the laboratory on the International Space Station. The “astronauts” working in the laboratory node of the Space Station must complete their tasks, share information with their “engineer” classmates in Mission Control and consult with each other to decide on how best to accomplish the goal of the mission. These overall goals vary, depending on which type of mission the class is participating in.