My Solar System - Catch A Planet!
Have you hugged a planet today? This interactive exhibit is made possible by a grant from the Tohono O’odham Nation. Visitors can catch and hold a virtual planet using motion detection technology, as bubbles appear with relevant science facts. A Playmotion exhibition.
CLICK HERE for a sneak peek!
Space Shuttle Landing Gear Tire
How big would an actual space shuttle tire be? You can find out and touch a landing gear tire which actually flew in space on STS-121, Space Shuttle Discovery. You can still see the skid marks! Did you know that a space shuttle tire can carry three times the load of a Boeing 747 tire, or the entire starting line-up of a NASCAR race (40 race cars) all hitting the pavement simultaneously at 250 miles per hour.
Atlantis Space Shuttle Model
This 10 foot high model of the Atlantis Space Shuttle was donated to Challenger Space Center by Honeywell. Before finding a permanent home at the center, this model traveled around the country to different aerospace industry trade shows and educational events associated with Honeywell. Visitors on the guided tour will learn about the 30-year Space Shuttle era, and the shuttle's vital contributions to manned space exploration. Space shuttles were a marvel of modern technology, and paved the way for future space exploration and discoveries in our universe.
Robert McCall's "Tour of the Universe" Mural
As visitors cross the elevated gantry bridge into the Center, the first sight they see is a four-story mural wrapping around the walls of our Steele Foundation Rotunda. This mural, painted by world-famous space artist, Robert McCall. Utilizing 27,000 square feet of canvas, this phenomenal piece of artistry took six months to complete. It is believed to be the largest mural in Arizona.
William G. Gregory Exhibit, Former U.S. Astronaut, Pilot, STS-67 See Gregory's personal items which flew with him aboard the Space Shuttle in 1995, as well as his NASA test pilot gear. Gregory served as the STS-67 pilot on the seven-person astronomical research mission aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Launching from the Kennedy Space Center on March 2, 1995, and landing at Edwards AFB on March 18, 1995, the crew established a new mission duration record of 16 days, 15 hours, 8 minutes and 46 seconds, while completing 262 orbits and traveling nearly seven million miles. This second flight of the ASTRO telescope primary payload also included numerous secondary payloads. Gregory retired from NASA in 1999. He logged more than 400 hours in space and has flown more than 40 types of aircraft. MORE
Columbia Shuttle Memorial Display
On February 1, 2003, the world lost seven brave heroes; NASA lost seven family members and friends. When the space shuttle mission STS-107 ended in tragedy over the skies of the southwestern United States, the anguish of the loss was felt around the world, including here in Arizona. The people of Arizona came to the Challenger Space Center to remember the crew in their own ways. They left many items and tributes to the crew. In tribute to those who were lost, the Challenger Space Center has a memorial display consisting of several items that were left at the Center in the days after the accident, as well as photos and several other items in memory of the crew.
Iridium Satellite Model
In 1987, a team of valley engineers from Motorola conceived the idea of creating a global wireless communications system - a digital satellite phone and paging network that would later be called the Iridium system. Motorola successfully launched 72 low-Earth orbiting satellites in just 12 months. Each satellite weighs 1500 pounds and circles the Earth at 17,500 miles an hour at an altitude of 485 miles. A permanent model of this satellite has been donated to the Center by Motorola and is now on display.
Journey Through the Space Program
The second floor of the Challenger Space Center has been re-organized to give visitors a chance to take a walk back through manned space flight. Starting with the current day space station and space shuttle, and stretching back past Skylab, Apollo, Mercury and Gemini, these displays offer a chance to see how much NASA has accomplished over the last several decades. Among these displays are included mission patches from every mission flown, and several other pictures and donated materials related to each of these programs.
Lowell Observatory Display
Currently on display at the Challenger Space Center, on extended loan from the Lowell observatory, are items relating to the study of the planet Mars by Percival Lowell and the discovery of Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh. More than 22 Ph.D. astronomers from around the world conduct their research work at the Lowell Observatory.
Theater Aviation Display
Several friends of the Challenger Space Center have donated space and aviation related lithographs and other photos, which are now on display in our theater for all visitors to enjoy.