Challenger Missions

The Challenger Learning Center offers a unique, hands-on learning experience designed to engage and increase student enthusiasm for science, mathematics, and technology and to enhance creative and critical thinking abilities. We will offer four onsite mission scenarios—Rendezvous with a Comet, Return to the Moon, and Voyage to Mars and Encounter Earth—each of which will rotate on a four-year cycle. Each mission is a two-hour learning adventure and is supplemented by an hour-long hands-on activity facilitated by our trained flight directors. Teachers who have booked a mission are offered a one-day teacher professional development workshop to help prepare them and their students for mission day.


Rendezvous with a Comet

Rendezvous w CometIn the not too distant future a team of scientists and engineers are on a daring mission to take an up-close look at a comet as it streaks its way across our solar system. Their goal is to plot a successful course to rendezvous with the comet and launch a probe to collect and return dust from the comet’s tail. What seems at first to be a routine exploration is filled with challenges and emergencies. Each obstacle that stands in the way of a successful mission requires students to work together as a team to find a solution.


Return to the Moon®

Return to Moon5-4-3-2-1 and liftoff aboard Eagle II. For the first time since 1972, a crew of astronauts is returning to the Moon—and this time they plan to stay! Their mission is to establish a permanent international base on the lunar surface for observation, exploration, and use as a stepping stone for future, manned missions. Leaving Earth’s orbit and navigating their way into lunar orbit, students must first retrieve a damaged probe and then build and launch a probe to send to the lunar surface. The crew members will have to function as a team as they begin a new era in human planetary explorations during their mission to “Return to the Moon.”


Voyage to Mars®

Voyage to MarsThe voyage begins in the year 2076 with a new crew of astronauts enroute to Mars. Control of the incoming flight has been transferred from Houston’s Mission Control to Mars Control at the Chryse Station. The crew arriving from Earth on the Mars Transport Vehicle has been specially trained to replace the existing crew of astronauts, who have manned Mars Control for the past two years. After arriving on the Martian surface, the new crew will continue scientific exploration while gaining new insights into the problems NASA scientists face. This information is vital to scientists and explorers for a better understanding of the Red Planet.


Encounter Earth

Encounter EarthIn the summer of the year 2137, a Low Earth Orbiting satellite (LEO) has malfunctioned and must be replaced. The team has been called on to construct and deploy a new satellite, and retrieve important data about the Earth and its environment from the previous one. Students collect data, avert disasters on Earth, and learn about the intricate relationships of Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, ecosphere, and geosphere as you Encounter Earth.