Family Space Day is Sept. 15 — one of only two left in 2012!

Got big plans this weekend? We’re here to help as always. Now that we’ve got your Friday night covered, we think you should head south on Saturday toward Brazos Bend for a day of family fun at the George ObservatoryFamily Space Day!

For the duration of Family Space Day, the Challenger Learning Center will be open for individual children and adults to learn the importance of teamwork in a simulated mission to space.

Challenger Learning Center

In 1988, the Houston Museum of Natural Science was the first organization in the nation to establish a learning center in memory of the astronauts who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Since then we’ve taught more than 100,000 student astronauts the value of working as a team to accomplish a shared goal.

Be an astronaut for a day as you and your child are assigned jobs aboard the Space Station Observer and work in tandem to solve real-world problems. NASA volunteers will be running the missions and interacting with participants as they experience real astronaut training.

The Challenger Learning Center is usually only open to groups, so don’t miss this rare chance to complete a mission as an individual or as a family.

Missions will run this Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Please note that missions are suited for children 7 years of age and older. Kids 7-9 must have a paid adult chaperone participate, and a minimum of 10 participants is required for each mission. (Refunds will be issued if the minimum is not met.)

Stay after your mission and see space from the other side during stargazing on the observation deck. Tickets to access the George Observatory telescopes go on sale at 5 p.m. for $5, weather permitting.

For more information on Family Space Day and the George Observatory, including mission times and rules, click here!

Watch a video of all the fun at Family Space day below!

Spotlight on Staff: James Talmage recognized for flying 3,000 missions (and taking 100,000 students) to the moon

When the Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed in 1986, the Houston Museum of Natural Science was the first organization in the nation to establish a learning center in memory of the astronauts who died. HMNS opened the first Challenger Learning Center in 1988; today, there is an international network of more than 45 centers devoted to simulated space flight.

Challenger Learning CenterNow, the National Challenger Learning Center has honored HMNS Flight Director James Talmage for completing 3,000 missions in the Museum’s Challenger Learning Center, sending more than 100,000 students soaring to the Moon and Mars.

The Challenger Learning Center has taught its student astronauts the value of working as a team to accomplish a successful mission. During Talmage’s 12 years years as Flight Director, he has continually improved students’ learning experience, giving countless young people the opportunity to solve problems and model real-world careers in Houston.

From birthday parties to adult team building, James Talmage has made the Challenger Learning Center an interactive learning experience for all ages. To learn more about HMNS’ Challenger Learning Centers, located at the Museum’s main campus and at The George Observatory click here.

Remembering Neil Armstrong: The first man on the moon dies at 82

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died Saturday at the age of 82.

Neil ArmstrongArmstrong made history on July 20, 1969 as commander of the Apollo 11 mission when he set foot on the moon in front of a captivated American TV audience.

Fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who was on the Apollo 11 mission with Armstrong, said, “Whenever I look at the moon it reminds me of the moment over four decades ago when I realized that even though we were farther away from earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone.

Following his death, the American icon’s family called Armstrong “our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend […] a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job.”

“The next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

So give Neil a wink this weekend and check out how he’s being remembered around the world:

 

You can give Armstrong a wink of your own at the George Observatory.

Family Space Day at the George: Experience the Challenger Learning Center with your kids, plus bottle rockets!

Get out of town this weekend and head south toward Brazos Bend for a day of family fun at the George ObservatoryFamily Space Day!

For the duration of Family Space Day, the Challenger Learning Center will be open for individual children and adults to learn the importance of teamwork in a simulated mission to space.

Be an astronaut for a day as you and your child are assigned jobs aboard the Space Station Observer and work in tandem to solve real-world problems. NASA volunteers will be running the missions and interacting with participants as they experience real astronaut training.

The Challenger Learning Center is usually only open to groups, so don’t miss this rare chance to complete a mission as an individual.

Stay after your mission and see space from the other side during stargazing on the observation deck. Tickets to access the George Observatory telescopes go on sale at 5 p.m. for $5, weather permitting.

For more information on Family Space Day and the George Observatory, including mission times and rules, click here!

Family Space Day [George Observatory]Attendees prepare to launch bottle rockets at Family Space Day 2010

Volunteers from Boeing will also be on-hand throughout the day as part of the company’s third annual Global Day of Service. Boeing employee volunteers will help facilitate a variety of children’s activities, including bottle rocket launching, crafts, robotics and more.

Watch a video of all the fun at Family Space day below!