And so with nothing better to do on a Saturday morning when I got invited to go check out the Challenger Space Center in Peoria I jumped at the opportunity. For this particular day they had a Smithsonian exhibition and it was free to the public provided you pre-printed your ticket which allowed two people to go in on your computer. Regular fees are $8:00 for adults and $5:00 for kids.
Mon - Fri 9 am - 4 pm
Their story as printed in the card they hand you as you walk in: Challenger Space Center Arizona is a four-story public museum and education facility that opened July 2000. The center is a private educational charity, and a living tribute to the astronauts who lost their lives aboard Space Shuttle 51-L in 1986. Their families founded Challenger Center for Space Science Education, and about 50 Challenger centers operate nationally.
I jumped on the 101 and 35 minutes later after following a detour I got to the museum. The building is pretty nice, and looks like some sort of modern structure. Lots of glass windows, metal walls, and concrete.
I didn't expect the place to be as packed as it was. Upon entering we only walked for about five minutes when this lady asked us if we wanted to watch one of the exhibits, although free it required tickets as the seating was limited. Again we jumped at the opportunity and took them. We only had to wait about 10 minutes and we were in. The show was about stargazing and they pretty much told us that we can see at least seven of the nine planets if we just go out to our back yards with a set of binoculars. They talked about the stars, the constellations, the moon, and so on. It was pretty informative and definitely something new to me. After all I never took astrology or anything like that in school.
The portable dome planetarium which they take to schools was fun. Do not go in there if you are claustrophobic tho. Inside the dome you are transported into a night sky environment for studying the constellations, the moon, the planets, the seasons, multicultural folklore/mythology and much more.
So if one day you find yourself with nothing to do and you want to take the kids to see something educational as well as exciting, consider visiting the Challenger Space Center, you will have a nice time. There are plenty of things to see, things to do, and exhibitions to watch.