Simulated space missions are a fun and educational experience where you get to experience first-hand what it’s like to go on a space mission. Full missions are geared towards participants ages 11 and up, while Jr Astronauts programs are recommended for ages 6 to 11.
Schools and other large groups can book private missions. Families and small groups can join us for public missions. See below for mission descriptions or Click here to see calendar of available public program dates.
(Have you already registered your class? Learn everything you need to prepare for your mission.)
After a brief orientation, participants are assigned jobs similar to those of astronauts, scientists and engineers. One half of the crew works on board the spacecraft and the other in Mission Control. Halfway through the mission, participants switch sides so everyone can experience both Mission Control and the Space Station.
Full missions are two hours and can accommodate up to 30 participants. Because students in the mission are split into two groups, at least two teachers should accompany a group of up to 30.
Missions can be paired with Discovery Workshops to create a full-day experience for students.
See below for recommended grade levels.
Rendezvous with a Comet
A crew of astronauts is being sent on a mission to explore Comet Encke, which is approaching Earth’s orbit. The crew must assemble and launch a probe and launch it to the comet. Along the way, astronauts use their scientific and creative problem-solving skills to deal with unexpected and highly unpredictable objects in the Solar System that may come their way. Recommended for grades 5-8.
In the not too distant future, several permanent habitats on the Moon are home to astronauts and scientists conducting research and studying the planets beyond. To expand that research, additional environments must be created and new mining locations identified. Directed from Mission Control at Moon Base Alpha, human operated vehicles and rovers search for titanium and iron deposits. While scouting for these locations is dangerous, it is critical to the expansion of the lunar research. By working together to accomplish the mission goals, the crew can help push the limits of exploration and science. Recommended for grades 6 to adult.
The year is 2076. A handful of facilities have been established on the Martian surface. A large shuttle, called the MTV, regularly ferries astronauts and scientists between the surface of Mars and the Martian moon Phobos, where Mission Control is located. During a routine flight to Mars, as the MTV is carrying parts to build a remotely operated vehicle for exploration, the Phobos control team discovers a threat to the base on Mars. The teams must work together to assess the potential risks to the crew and research facilities and determine a course of action. Recommended for grades 6 to adult.
Earth Odyssey takes place in a futuristic time when a major coronal mass ejection (CME) causes a burst of solar winds to blast from the sun toward Earth, damaging several key satellites. The crew’s mission is to assess the damage done on Earth and construct a replacement satellite. Note: While Earth Odyssey is available for grades 7 and up, it is only recommend when coupled with classroom topics such as Earth’s spheres or environmental science. It runs most smoothly when the majority of students are at an 8th-grade reading level or higher.
The Earth Odyssey™ mission was made possible through the generous support of the Employee Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis, The Monsanto Fund, The Saigh Foundation, the Express Scripts Foundation and the Missouri Space Grant Consortium.
Jr Astronauts Programs
Jr. Astronauts programs includes a classroom Mini Rockets Workshop and one of our one-hour simplified missions. By splitting into two groups of up to 20, a two-hour Jr. Astronaut program can accommodate 40 participants.
Because students are split into two groups, at least two teachers should be present for any Jr. Astronaut program. Because the students are further split into small teams doing different astronaut jobs, it is helpful if there is at least one adult for every 6 students in grades 1-2.
Jr Astronauts: Space Station Odyssey
Astronauts will will travel 230 miles above Earth to the International Space Station to investigate a mysterious object that has been spotted in space. While in space, these junior astronauts utilize their scientific, math, engineering, and teamwork skills and engage in experiments and activities to help NASA learn more about our world. Recommended for grades 1-5. Available for kindergartners during their second semester, with 1 adult per 4 children.
Jr. Astronauts: Mars Pioneers
The year is 2034…and our astronauts are about to embark on the most ambitious pioneering mission since Lewis and Clark – the first manned mission to Mars. The astronauts will begin their mission by launching from Earth and working together to achieve the mission goals. During the 48 million mile voyage, the astronauts will attend to their stations by performing the necessary work for getting the spacecraft to Mars, ensuring the safety of the crew, and conducting research along the way. As the crew reads through their instructions and completes their tasks, the spacecraft makes its final approach into Martian orbit. As they work to complete the mission, they will have to come together to overcome obstacles and challenges that may threaten their mission.
Jr. Astronauts: Destination Moon
Stay tuned! This mission, designed for grades 3- 5, will be available beginning in Fall 2018.
Mini Rockets Workshop
As part of all Jr Astronauts programs, students work in teams to design, build and launch their very own compressed-air rocket. Participants will learn about Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion, basic rocket components, and how rocket design features affect their performance.