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10:00am to 5:00pm

Public Missions at The Nierman Challenger Learning Center

Take the ultimate trip! A realistic Mission Control mock-up and a Space Station will introduce you to the teamwork, technology, and drama involved in space travel. Work in teams to solve real-life science, technology and math problems using our unique, hands-on space simulators. High-tech hardware and computer software enhance the realistic feel of the mission control and the space station, closely mirroring the work of astronauts currently in orbit. Astronauts may monitor and test life support systems, work in the clean room to build, test and launch a scientific space probe, or use our isolation station robots and glovebox workstations to analyze extraterrestrial samples.

Program Descriptions

Return to the Moon

Grades 5 and up
2 hours

The year is 2020, and for the first time since Apollo 17 in 1972, your crew of astronauts is traveling to the Moon. Their goals are to establish a permanent base to make further lunar observations, study the feasibility of creating a self-sustaining lunar settlement, and serve as a stepping stone for future manned planetary exploration. Navigating their way into lunar orbit, your group will:

  • Launch a probe to deliver equipment to the Moon’s surface
  • Analyze data to select a landing site for the S.S Phoenix Spacecraft
  • Calculate the thrust needed to leave Earth’s orbit and enter lunar orbit
  • Understand the gravitational attraction of the Moon to Earth
  • Conduct investigations and make observations using scientific tools
  • Understand lunar topography

Book your mission today and learn more about the mysteries of Earth's closest neighbor.


Voyage to Mars

Grades 5 and up
2 hours

Voyage to Mars in the year 2076 to replace a crew working at Chryse Station—a permanent research base on the Martian surface. In addition to continuing research of the exciting planet, you'll calculate trajectories for entering and exiting Martian orbit and launch two probes to the Martian moons of Phobos and Deimos. During the course of your mission, you'll view stunning video images of some of the more famous geographic features of Mars. You'll also:

  • Weigh components needed to build a probe and calculate its mass
  • Record the vital signs of other astronauts on board the space craft
  • Determine the nutritional value of foods available on the space craft
  • Explore the planetary geology of Mars and its fascinating features
  • Understand theories of the existence on the Martian moons
  • Compare and contrast the location of Earth and Mars

Book your mission today to learn more about the mysterious red planet.



Challenger missions are appropriate for ages 8 and up. A minimum of 16 participants is required to run a mission. The maximum number of participants is 32. We encourage partnering with other groups if you cannot meet the minimum. Please note that at least one adult is required per 8 youth.


Workshop missions can be booked for Saturdays or Sundays. Programs should be booked at least one month in advance. Please have two dates in mind when you call.


$20 per person

To register, call Client Services at (619) 238-1233, ext. 806.