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, and Voyage to Mars. 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 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-4)

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 44 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 66 students is $500 and includes:
– An activity in the Space Mission Simulator
– Two grade-appropriate science EVAs

Mission Simulations (5-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 three simulated space missions: Rendezvous with a Comet, Return to the Moon, and Voyage to Mars. 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 and much more!

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

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, neighborhood associations 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.

  • 18-30 adults (2 hours) – $400
  • Mini-Mission: 9-18 adults (1 hour) – $250

To book your Space Mission Simulation, please call our Group Sales Coordinator 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

Space Mission Simulator: 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 Mission Simulator: 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.

For Rendezvous with a Comet, students are required to compute an accurate trajectory to send their probe through the tail of a comet. Completing assembly of their scientific probe requires constant headset communication and video links with Mission Control. The glove box, with its hands-on experiments, is a highlight of every mission, and using robotics to manipulate science experiments is just one of many such activities that take place during a mission.