- Type: Permanent
- Age: All Ages
- Features: History, interactive
Exploring the Moon, Mars & Beyond
Make the Universe Your Playground!
Space Quest invites you to celebrate the spirit of exploration through state-of-the-art, interactive exhibit components that highlight NASA Langley Research Center’s role in the past, present and future of space exploration. Travel to Mars aboard a futuristic Mars transport ship, attempt a landing on the moon with a lunar simulator, and train for a lunar mission.
Space Quest: Exploring the Moon, Mars & Beyond is presented by Langley Federal Credit Union.
Our Solar System
For thousands of years the planets have been a source of intrigue and mystery for mankind. Even today man’s need to explore is inspired by these heavenly bodies.
In the Solar System exhibit you need only to look up for a little planetary inspiration of your own. Nearly 30 feet above the floor hang giant planetary models of Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune. You can survey these gas giants and their rocky planet friends through exploration of your own! Examine various sample elements representing the surface of each world in our solar system, and imagine what it would be like to travel to another planet with the interactive inter-planetary travel agency.
Mars and the Moon
Your interactive, inter-stellar journey begins here with the Mars Transporter, a simulated space travel experience that will take you to the Mars surface. Don’t worry, the six-month journey will feel more like a few minutes, and once on the planet’s surface you’ll know it was well worth the wait. Let go of your inhibitions and climb on board. Outer space awaits you.
Overhead, the Viking Orbiter zooms around the planet as it maps the entire Martian surface. Managed by NASA Langley Research Center, the Viking Project’s objective was to investigate Mars. The Orbiter was designed to work in conjunction with the Viking Lander, relaying information to Earth. You can learn more about the Viking Mars program as well as other Mars missions with full-scale models of the Viking Lander, the first explorer, and the Mars Exploration Rover a subsequent Mars exploration mission offering a detailed look at the past, present and future of Mars exploration. Gaze upon a Mars meteorite and examine a three-billion-year-old moon rock, just one small piece of the Goodwill rock acquired on the Apollo 17 mission in 1969. Train for a moon landing, see an original lunar landing trainer, and then try your hand at landing on the moon in a lander simulator.
Global Projection –– Imagine a giant sphere that allows you to interact explore the Earth and other planets with the touch of a button.
At a whopping five feet in diameter, the Magic Planet Global Projector displays stunning, inter-changing images of the Earth, moon, sun and Mars in a hemisphere, allowing guests to interact with each planet.
Real-time data on Earth provides up-to-date information on weather patterns, natural disasters, and more, allowing visitors to view Earth in the here and now.
Humans have been working and living in space since the 1970s. Space stations have played an important role in space exploration by providing long-term labs for research. This exhibit highlights some of the science pursued in space-based laboratories, including Earth observation, materials science, human adaptation to microgravity, and space biology. Visitors can compare and contrast scale models of Sky Lab, Mir and the International Space Station as they review graphic panels that illustrate the past, present and future of these space labs.
Visitors are invited to explore time and space in this whimsical Time Machine that highlights milestones in man’s never-ending journey to explore.