Today's Hours: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway Chantilly, Virginia 20151
Discovery Stations are portable interactive carts that encourage informal learning through active looking, discussion, and hands-on activities related to aviation, space exploration, astronomy, and planetary geology. These programs typically last from 15 to 20 minutes and supplement other educational programming. As such Discovery Stations cannot be reserved by themselves. They must be reserved in conjunction with other programs.
Principles of Flight
What makes it possible for airplanes to fly? What natural forces must they overcome to succeed? Explore the four forces of flight (lift, weight, drag and thrust), the laws of physics that make flight possible and gain an understanding about the nature of aerodynamics that will amaze and astound when you stop to think that it is really air that keeps those planes up in the sky.
Become A Pilot
Did you ever want to be a pilot? Find out more about the skills required to fly an airplane, from reading sectional charts, to learning basic air traffic patterns. You'll also learn how high and how fast some of the airplanes (and the space shuttle) in our collection can fly. You can even try your hand at landing an airplane in the Washington-Dulles International Airport using Microsoft's virtual flight software and precision controls.
Popular Culture: Animation Station
Learn more about elements of popular culture that helped to motivate scientists and engineers to boldly go where no one has gone before. Visitors can generate a stop motion animation film with space-related toys, find out how one of our artifacts mysteriously "transformed," and compare and contrast science fiction toys from different eras.
Rats in Space
Is there gravity in outer space? How much do things weigh in a zero-G environment? What force of flight keeps us down on the ground and how can you measure anything in a "weightless" environment? Learn more about gravity and science in space in an experiment that is out of this world.
Science of Sound
How does one hear? What makes a sound, a sound? Learn about the physics of sound in this Discovery Station designed to keep visitors in tune with elements of verbal communication. From a telephone string cup to cockpit communications, this station will make you think about what you are hearing.
Learn how Spirit and Opportunity, two of the Rovers on Mars, have helped and are continuing to help scientists understand the history and terrain of Mars. Find out why we are sending robots as scouts to this neighbor planet and learn some of the secrets they have revealed to date.
Living and Working in Space: Human Space Exploration
Share in the excitement and wonder of human spaceflight, from the Mercury missions in the 1960s to the space shuttle era and beyond. Hands-on demonstrations include real space artifacts and spacesuits!
Telescope Power! Tools of Astronomy
Learn the basic principles behind how telescopes work with special emphasis on Galileo's work. Explore the major differences between Galilean, Keplerian, and achromatic telescopes. Find out how to make your own telescopes from materials you can find at home.
You may be familiar with the names of many objects in space but may not be sure where they are, their relative size and scale, and how they fit into our understanding of the universe. Learn about the size and scope of the universe by playing three simple games that answer How big? How far? and How old?
Kite to Flight Problem Solving with the Wright Brothers
Examine early kite models, learn about the many experiments the Wright brothers conducted, touch the kind of materials used on their 1903 Flyer, find out why they were used, and learn about the principles of wing warping.