education #

Space Missions

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The Challenger Learning Centre is one of only two educational space mission simulators of its type outside of North America. It was founded by the families of the astronauts lost during the last flight of the Challenger Space Shuttle in 1986.

"The best bit was when I went into the Challenger Centre where I became a Mission Controller. I had a fantastic time and I will definitely be coming again!" Bronte Highfield, St. Andrew's Primary School Smiley

When students arrive, a short briefing is held in which the Mission Commanders and the student Astronauts review their Mission objectives.

The group is then divided, so that the Mission Controllers can take their stations and the Astronauts "blast off" to the Space Station.

Throughout the Mission, students are presented with tasks and realistic dilemmas that build problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Halfway through, the Mission requires a crew exchange so everyone has an opportunity to experience both Mission Control and the Space Station.*


The Missions have been specifically adapted by the University of Leicester to fit the requirements of the National Curriculum. The missions are designed for groups of between 14 - 34 participants.


Full missions last for   hours (for max. 34 children) 

* One hour Missions do not have a Crew change

Download your CREW MANIFEST before your Mission

We currently offer the following missions;

Space Cadets

Mission Objective:To build, and then launch a probe to rendezvous with a Comet

Scenario: In the not too distant future, a team of scientists and engineers are on a daring mission to take a close-up look at a comet as it streaks its way across the solar system. 

Students must build a space probe and then work out the correct course to meet with the Comet. This exciting mission is filled with challenges, each requiring students to work together as a team to find the solution.

Read more: Space Cadets

Earth in Danger

Mission Control

Mission Objective: To locate and identify an unknown object heading towards the Earth.

Scenario: The Earth is in danger from an unknown Near Earth Object  (NEO) heading towards it. Your team has been brought together as the best the world has to offer in order to board the secret space station and find out more about the object in the hope of reducing its Torrino level hazard rating and thus saving the World from impending doom.

Read more: Earth in Danger

Voyage to Mars

Voyage to MarsMission Objectives: To relieve a crew who have been living and working on Mars for two years. To send a probe to one of the two Martian Moons.

Scenario: It is the year 2076. A now routine Voyage to Mars has brought the latest human crew into Martian orbit. The crew arriving from Earth on the Mars Transporter Vehicle has been specially trained to replace the existing crew, which has manned Mars Control for the past two years.

Read more: Voyage to Mars

Rendezvous with a Comet


Mission Objective: To build, and then launch a probe to rendezvous with an unknown object that may be a threat to the Earth!

Scenario: In 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 the solar system. Their goal is to plot a successful course to rendezvous with the comet and launch a probe to collect scientific data on the object.

Read more: Rendezvous with a Comet

Celebrating BepiColombo

Bepi Colombo. Image: AstriumOn Friday 5 October, the launch window opens for Europe’s newest spacecraft bound for the planet Mercury. Join us for a day celebrating this exciting mission and find out more about Mercury, the mission, and how Leicester scientists are involved.


Scouting and Guiding:

Fantastic packages for Scouting and Guiding Groups.

Find out more

Space Missions:

Blast off on one of our specatacular space missions!

Find out more