Spacesuits Exhibit Unveiling June 28
New Additions to Notkin’s “They Came From Outer Space” Meteorite Exhibit

Challenger hosts two Grand Opening Weekends with Sunday Hours


   June 20, 2014, Peoria, AZ – Four authentic spacesuits will be placed on temporary loan to Challenger Space Center Arizona, on exhibit to the general public for a limited engagement June 28 – August 1, 2014. The suits will share gallery space with “They Came From Outer Space,” a popular meteorite exhibit which will continue to be available to the public through October 3, 2014. Meteorite expert Geoff Notkin will officially open the spacesuits exhibit at Noon on June 28.

The four spacesuits being placed in the exhibit include a NASA Launch Entry Suit worn by former astronaut and current NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a Sokol space suit worn by NASA Astronaut Dr. Edward Lu aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and a Sokol suit shell.

In addition, visitors will enjoy a special photo display stand which incorporates a genuine Orlan spacesuit used by cosmonauts in the Russian Space Program. The display allows visitors to step into the suit and take pictures. The suit itself, including helmet and gloves, is over 30 years old and is an actual piece of space history. The new additions to the display are courtesy of the Heinlein Prize Trust, which honors the memory of Robert A. Heinlein, renowned American author.  


A lunar meteorite will also be added to the exhibition. Lunar meteorites are actual pieces of the moon that fall to Earth's surface. Scientists are able to determine their origin by comparing them to rock samples collected by Apollo astronauts on the moon.


Challenger Space Center is generally open to the public Mon. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Two Spacesuit Exhibit Grand Opening weekends are planned. Though the museum is typically closed Sundays, the museum will open for two Sundays June 29 and July 6, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., especially for the Spacesuits exhibition. Exhibits are included with general admission.

“It is rare to have an opportunity to touch an actual spacesuit, so we hope the public will take advantage of this in the coming month,” said Kari Sliva, President/CEO of Challenger Space Center Arizona. “Our programs are about applied sciences, and the ‘hands-on’ nature of this exhibit is a perfect fit for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Children participating in our Adventures In Space Summer Camp, in particular, have a rare treat in store for them. We’re thrilled,” Sliva said.

Television host and meteorite expert Geoff Notkin will be at Challenger Space Center Arizona on Saturday, June 28 to unveil all of the new pieces being added to his exhibit, "They Came From Outer Space." The event is set for 12 p.m. local time in the main exhibit space at the Center, located at 21170 N. 83rd Avenue in Peoria.

Notkin, a global adventurer and world-renowned meteorite expert, starred for three seasons on the Science channel television series "Meteorite Men" and now hosts the educational program "STEM Journals" on Cox 7 Arizona. His appearance at Challenger Space Center will include an informal meet-and-greet with visitors following the installation of the new exhibit items.

"They Came From Outer Space" features meteorites, costumes, props, and equipment from Notkin's personal collection, including over 100 meteorites, many found while filming "Meteorite Men" around the globe. Also on display are educational posters, tools used for meteorite hunting, and Notkin's original wardrobe and field gear from "Meteorite Men." Since opening in October 2012, the exhibit has been toured by thousands of visitors, including seven U.S. astronauts. It will be on exhibit at Challenger Space Center Arizona through October 3, 2014 and is included with paid general admission.

About Geoff Notkin: A television host, professional meteorite hunter, science writer, photographer, and owner of Aerolite Meteorites, Geoff starred for three seasons on Science Channel's award-winning TV show "Meteorite Men," and now serves as host of the TV series "STEM Journals" on Cox7 Arizona. He has also made documentaries for National Geographic, Discovery, PBS, BBC, History Channel, A&E, and Travel Channel. He has written more than 150 published articles on meteoritics, paleontology, adventure travel, history, and the arts. The minor planet 132904, discovered at Mount Palomar, was named "Notkin" and approved by the Minor Planet Center in recognition of Geoff's contributions to science and education.

For interview requests with Geoff Notkin, contact Becca Gladden, Director of Public Relations at or 623-510-6554.

About The Heinlein Prize Trust: The Heinlein Prize honors the memory of Robert A. Heinlein, renowned American author. The purpose of the Heinlein Prize is to encourage and reward progress in commercial space activities that advances Robert and his wife Virginia's dream of humanity's future in space. Efforts include: the Heinlein Prize for Accomplishments in Commercial Space Activities, the Microgravity Research Competition, the Heinlein Commercial Space Activity Prize, Flight into the Future, Heinlein for Heroes book program, international contests and the online Heinlein Archives. One of the Trust’s programs aims to develop the next generation of space enthusiasts by encouraging students to read Robert Heinlein’s Have Space Suit – Will Travel. The program lesson plans provide discussion topics and creative writing assignments.

Please call 623-322-2001 or visit for additional information and updates.

Source: Aerolite Meteorites Public Relations

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Engineer Who Designed Key Component of Apollo Lunar Lander to Speak at Challenger Space Center Arizona

Peoria, AZ, January 24, 2014 – The public is invited to attend a special presentation entitled “Apollo Program Remembrances” by guest speaker Robert Benoit at Challenger Space Center Arizona on Saturday, February 1, 2014, beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the Steele Foundation Rotunda. 

The presentation coincides with NASA’s Day of Remembrance, also set for February 1.  The annual NASA commemoration honors the memories of the astronauts lost in the Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia accidents.  

 “Apollo Program Remembrances” is a signature event taking place during the Arizona Scitech Festival, which celebrates our state's leadership in science, technology and innovation.

Mr. Benoit’s presentation is included with paid general admission to Challenger Space Center.  Visitors are encouraged to tour the Center before or after the talk.  General admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (55+) and military, $6 for students (3-12), free for children ages 2 and under and Challenger Members.  The Center is open from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Saturday.     

Robert Benoit was an engineer with Grumman Aerospace, the company that served as chief contractor on the Apollo Lunar Module that took astronauts to the surface of the moon.  He was a Cognitive Engineer on the Thrust Translation Control Assembly (TTCA), which he designed, and the Attitude Control Assembly (ACA), designed by Honeywell. As a Cognitive Engineer, Benoit had complete responsibility for the design, testing, vehicle integration, and mission support of both controllers. 

October 17, 2013, Peoria, Ariz. — Challenger Space Center Arizona is hosting a dinner and awards ceremony in recognition of individuals and corporations who have provided extraordinary support for the Center’s STEM education mission.

The 2nd Annual Chairman’s Awards Dinner will be held Saturday, November 2, 2013 from 6:30 – 10:00 p.m. in the Center’s Steele Foundation Rotunda.  Back by popular demand is special guest presenter, former U.S. Astronaut William G. Gregory, Pilot of Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-67.

Mr. Gregory and Noah Foote, Chairman of the Challenger Space Center Board of Directors, will recognize recipients of four 2013 Chairman’s Awards:  The Founder’s Supernova Award, Stellar Corporate Partner of the Year, Beacon Award for Volunteerism, and the Challenger Educator of the Year Award.   2013 Award Winners Announced


The Quirkles® Debut at Challenger Space Center This Month!

Peoria, AZ, September 11, 2013 – New this year, Challenger Space Center Arizona’s SpaceTots program will be using the Quirkles®, a set of colorful books that create excitement for reading and science through whimsical illustrations, alliteration, and fun hands-on science activities.

SpaceTots is Challenger Space Center’s exciting introduction to space and science designed specifically for children ages 4-6, accompanied by a parent or guardian.  The program is offered one Monday per month from 9:30-11:30 a.m.  Each class will introduce a different letter of the alphabet and kid-friendly science experiments using the Quirkles® books and characters.

For the full media release and other upcoming events & activities, click here:
Media Release_QuirklesSept2013