Space Foundation Discovery Center: A Place for Curious Explorers of all Ages

Space discovery Center Foundation, the museum.

If you and your family are space enthusiasts, Space Foundation Discovery Center is one of the destinations to be while you are in Colorado Springs. It may be the region’s only space, science, and technology attraction. But, the exhibitions they have for a not-too-big space will blow your curiosity away. Not to mention their weekend or week-long programs that children and adult will like to explore.

Location: 4225 Arrowswest Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Visited: July 2016

Our Stories:

We found the Space Foundation Discovery Center by coincidence. That day we were on the way to Garden of the Gods when my husband spotted the sign. We weren’t sure whether it was a museum, a training center, or just an office of a space foundation. So, we stopped there after the park.

And, aren’t we lucky? Space Foundation Discovery Center is a museum! Not only that. We could also use our membership card from Ft. Worth Science and Children’s Museum to get in there for free. Sweet!

The Space Foundation Discovery Center is an interactive, museum-quality destination that advances space-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (S-STEM). It is opened in late 2012 but by the end of July 2016, they already achieved a landmark goal of welcoming more than 100,000 visitors!

Space Foundation Discovery Center: A Place for Curious Explorers of All Ages

Here are 4 things that you can explore while at the museum:

  1. El Pomar Space Gallery

Here in the gallery, you can explore a wide variety of space artifacts and interactive exhibits. When we walked into the gallery, the first thing we saw on the right side was Mars Viking Lander mockup, a gift from Lockheed Martin. Right across it was a Launch to the Moon exhibit that took us on a journey to examine the early lunar exploration and discoveries by the Soviet and American experiences. We also learned about how astronauts and cosmonauts live in space, what they eat, what they wear, and what they do.

The gallery also featured a collection of scale model rockets that demonstrate the variety found in vehicles used to launch objects into orbit — and beyond, as well as some other interesting artifacts that made the space enthusiasts wanted to stay hours in this place. And of course, there’s a place for you to build your own rocket and launch it.

 

  1. Northrop Grumman Science Center

Then we watched a presentation at the Northrop Grumman Science Center, featuring Science On a Sphere (SOS). SOS was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It’s the world’s first dynamic spherical projection system. It uses special software, satellite imagery, and four projectors to render images onto the global surface that provides dramatic, full-motion views of the Earth, Sun, moons, and planets in space. Surely, it’s an awesome presentation!

Space Foundation Discovery Center: the red planet.

 

  1. Lockheed Martin Space Education Center

I must admit I was jealous when we walked into this area. This is the place where students and teachers enjoy state-of-the-art STEM equipment and hardware during field trips and professional development. When we walked into this room, I felt like in the U.S.S. Enterprise. The ones missing were Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.

Space Foundation Discovery Center: Welcome to U.S.S. Enterprise, err... Lockheed Martin Space Education Center.

There are 2 rooms offer activities and demonstrations in this area: AGI Space Missions Simulation Laboratory and Mars Robotics Laboratory. At AGI Space Missions Simulation Laboratory the students get the opportunity to use the same state-of-the-art modeling and visualization software used by space industry professionals. While at the Mars Robotics Laboratory participants get a chance to program robotic rovers to complete mission objectives on a simulated Martian terrain.

Space Foundation Discovery Center: Mars Robotics Laboratory.

On Saturday, we went back to Space Foundation Discovery Center for our son to join a class at the Mars Robotics Laboratory. They offered a chance for children to program robotic rovers using LEGO NXT equipment and MINDSTORM software to simulate lifelike Mars rover missions. The class ran for an hour and it cost only $5! After that, he moved to the other room for a Minecraft class. We thought it would be a lesson for them to learn the techniques or tactics, but it wasn’t. It’s only a play together with other kids. My husband and I were kind of disappointed, but all the kids there were enjoying it much.

 

  1. Featured Exhibits

While we were there, the featured exhibit was presented locally by Pikes Peak Children’s Museum. It called Super Kids Save the World. This exhibit was based on the British children’s book, George Saves the World by Lunchtime written by Jo Readman and illustrated by Ley Honor Roberts. It’s about an ordinary family, who in the course of their day save the world simply by making responsible choices. We didn’t have enough time to explore this exhibit because it was close to 4 p.m. when we walked into the area; the closing time of the museum.

Space Foundation Discovery Center: Super Kids Save the World exhibit.

All in all, we were pleased with our special found today, thanks to my husband’s eagle eyes. Wish there is something like Space Foundation Discovery Center near we live in Ft. Worth, TX where the mission of the museum is very clear from the very first time we stepped in: to educate people about the importance of space.

 

Space Foundation Discovery Center: Admission

Children

2 and under                                       Free

ages 2-4                                               $2.00

ages 5-17                                             $5.00

Adults                                                  $10.00

Seniors 65+                                        $7.50

Students

college students with ID               $7.50

Military                                                50% off adult admission with valid military ID, including Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, or Retiree.

 

Space Foundation Discovery Center: Hours of Operation

Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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Comments

  1. Wendy Maes says:

    It looks like I place I have to visit with my kids. It’s fun that the things you never planned, often turn out to be the best.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I know. It’s like an extra present that you don’t even think to get on your birthday. My son wants to be an Astronaut so he really loved the place.

  2. The Lockheed Martin Space Education Centre does look amazing, and you’re totally right Spock is the only thing missing!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Don’t we all like Mr. Spock?

  3. Ketki says:

    Ooh sounds like a fascinating place! I love science related places to visit and have visited quite a few in my country – India. How much time do you recommend to visit this place?

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I would say 3 hours minimum, especially if your family like to read every information and try this and that.

  4. Lianne says:

    That’s so cool you stumbled upon this place by accident! Sometimes that’s the best way to find the most treasured places. I love all things space and science – looks like it’s well worth a visit.
    Lianne recently posted…We’re Joining the Peace Corps ZambiaMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I know, right? Our son is really into space science, so he found his other home here.

  5. Baia says:

    Not big musum fan and haven’t been to a space museum either, but this surely intrigued me

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Hope one day you will be one.

  6. Elisa says:

    What an awesome museum! It looks like it was the perfect visit for the whole family. Nothing better than interactive museums that keep the little ones captivated while the adults do all the reading there usually is to do. I also wish we had something like Space Foundation Discovery Center where we live. Lastly, it seems like a very affordable museum too considering the fantastic exhibits. There’s lots to love about this place. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you! I think because their mission is to introduce and teach people (children) about space science, that’s why the entrance fee is affordable. And I’m sure their fund is also big and strong.

  7. Jithn says:

    Space foundation discovery centre sounds like a cool place to visit in Colorado. I am very much interested in space technology and thanks for sharing the information. Want to visit this place. Pictures are amazing

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      That place is amazing. We’re glad we found it and could share it with others.

  8. Somnath says:

    Cool and fascinating place and venture…Would love to be there when I am in the country

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