Are You Up for the Challenge?
An unforgettable, state-of-the-art learning experience
Discovery’s Challenger Center is an immersive mock space station and mission control simulation experience that promotes teamwork and critical thinking skills.
The simulation creates a cooperative learning atmosphere underscored by teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. Embedded throughout the simulations are opportunities for participants to hone applicable, real-world skills.
Challenger mission goals for students are to engage and enhance enthusiasm for STEAM, improve problem-solving skills, demonstrate the value of teamwork and communication, and enhance critical thinking abilities.
Looking for even more flexibility? You can also book a virtual Challenger mission that can be done from anywhere with an internet connection. Virtual missions run 45-60 minutes. All virtual missions include pre- and post-mission content to bring back to your classroom.
Challenger Missions are for grades 5 and up. Call 203-416-3531 for more information and to reserve your group’s space mission.
Expedition Mars – Grades 5 & Up
The year is 2076. A handful of facilities have been established on Mars, including a greenhouse, a mobile geological survey base, and a centralized research habitat. The primary human habitat is not on Mars, but on one of its moons, Phobos. A large shuttle regularly ferries astronauts and scientists between the base on Phobos and the surface of Mars. This shuttle, or Mars Transport Vehicle (MTV), carries parts to build a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to continue the search for evidence of life and water. However, when crew members discover an imminent threat to their MTV and the Martian surface facilities, they must act quickly to save their stations, their research, and their lives.
COMING SOON–Lunar Quest – Grades 7 and up
NASA recently identified areas on the Moon that may support a sustainable long-term habitat for humans. In order to confirm this finding, NASA issued a directive for astronauts to return to the Moon! In this Mission, a team of astronauts must board a spacecraft and launch to the Moon, while a team of scientists and engineers on Earth command and assist the astronauts in Mission Control. Once the spacecraft crew successfully lands on the Moon, they must deploy a Lunar Exploration Rover to investigate the different areas and confirm that the Moon can be settled for long-term human habitation. However, when the spacecraft crew begins to receive troubling readings from below the surface, the two teams must work together and make critical decisions to turn a possible catastrophe into NASA’s finest hour!
Destination Mars – Grades 5 and Up (45-60 minutes)
Researchers are ready to explore Mars, but there’s one glaring problem – more than 40 million miles separate Earth from the Red Planet. This distance makes it impossible to travel back and forth between the two planets while completing our research. We need to build a base on one of the Red Planet’s moons, Deimos or Phobos, that will allow us to send a spacecraft to the surface of Mars and back in the fastest and safest way possible. Student teams will select which moon is best to build a base by analyzing three sets of data collected by rovers on Deimos and Phobos.
The team’s research efforts come to a halt when they encounter a critical emergency – a solar storm approaches and all communication signals are lost. To successfully explore Mars’ moons and complete the mission, the students must work together to protect the rovers and restore communication, analyze the data from their experiments, and select a moon to build a base.
Destination Moon – Grades 7 and Up (60+ minutes)
A team of researchers is ready to return to the Moon to explore its surface and establish a second habitat for astronauts to live and work! To get there, they’ll launch and fly Blue Origin’s reusable launch vehicle, New Glenn, and explore the Moon’s surface using Blue Origin’s lunar lander, Blue Moon.
Student teams in Mission Control have a critical job: initiate the launch of New Glenn into orbit to land Blue Moon safely on the lunar surface. While in orbit, teams monitor for potentially dangerous space weather and space debris, conduct safety checks on the spacecraft systems, deploy and monitor satellites, and launch payloads.
With the journey underway, Mission Control learns there is an oxygen leak at the original lunar habitat that is putting the astronauts at risk. The team in Mission Control will work with the crew already on the Moon to use the given supplies and fix the oxygen leak. Can they repair the leak using the limited supplies they have on their base? Will the crew repair the leak in time before it threatens their safety on the Moon? A successful mission depends on it.