Discovery Museum Hours

SATURDAY-Sunday 10am - 4:30pm
Closed on Mondays
and Select Holidays

field trips available monday-FridaY

Powerhouse Science Center

Sacramento Science Discovery Weekends

Challenger Learning Centeralt

Simulated Space Missions

Designed in cooperation with NASA, the Challenger Learning Center is an interactive educational program that uses the excitement of space flight simulation to inspire students. As your students participate in one of three mission scenarios, they apply math science, technology, and language arts to solve real-life challenges, raising their expectations of success and inspiring them to "reach for the stars."

All students experience both Mission Control (modeled after the Johnson Space Center) and the Spacecraft (a lab in a futuristic space vehicle).

In the Spacecraft, students conduct science experiments, record measurements, operate robotic arms, build a probe, and navigate through space. In Mission Control, students use computers for research, use math to analyze data and monitor the status of the mission. Everyone uses teamwork, communication, and problem solving skills to solve emergencies and accomplish mission objectives.

This engaging program was created by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, an international, non-profit organization founded in 1986 by the families of the seven astronauts who were lost during the last flight of the Challenger Space Shuttle.

Mission Scenarios

Rendezvous with Comet Halley TM

In 2061, Comet Halley is returning to our part of the solar system. A team of scientists and engineers navigate through space in search of the comet as it approaches the Sun. The objective is to launch a scientific probe through the expansive tail, collecting data for research. Together, astronauts and mission controllers must accomplish the mission while overcoming unexpected problems.

Voyage to MarsTM

On Earth it is 2076. Astronauts have occupied an established scientific base on Mars for two years, but it's time for this crew to come home. A replacement crew arriving from Earth will continue the scientific exploration of the cold, dusty planet and its two moons. Mars Control team members are responsible for assisting with any emergencies that may arise and for bringing the approaching spacecraft in for a successful landing before making their long journey home. ;

Return to the MoonTM

The year is 2015. For the first time since 1972, a crew of astronauts is returning to the Moon, this time to stay. This mission establishes a permanent base on the Moon to continue scientific exploration, to test the feasibility of off-Earth settlements, and to serve as a launch pad for reaching other planets. The crew begins a new era in human planetary exploration.

Mission Fee

$550 includes classroom curriculum for pre-mission preparation, one 2.5 hours simulated mission for 16-32 students, and post-mission classroom activities. Mission times are 9:00-11:30 AM or 12:15-2:45 PM. New teachers must attend a half-day professional development workshop.

Reservations & Information

Phone: 916-485-8836


A limited number of need-based scholarships may be available each year. Contact a Challenger Flight Director at 916-808-3942 for more information.