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Smithsonian TechQuest: Race to the Moon

Smithsonian TechQuest: Race to the Moon 

Smithsonian TechQuest: Race to the Moon is a FREE alternate reality game at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center offered every Saturday and the second Friday of each month. Set in the thrilling era of early spaceflight, the game explores the exciting race to space by the first American astronauts.

It is 1969 and national pride and prestige are on the line. The United States is in a tight race with the Soviet Union to see who can be the first to land humans on the Moon and return them safely to Earth. NASA needs engineers and scientists with real problem-solving skills.

Your Mission: Develop a rocket to launch into space, travel over 200,000 miles to the Moon, and land safely.

The game begins with a short orientation from one of our specially trained Explainers including a video setting the stage for your grand adventure. You will learn about the events that shaped early spaceflight history and led to the challenge of a landing a human on the Moon.

With your game guide in hand, head out into the McDonnell Space Hangar and explore several of the Museum’s artifacts. Along the way you will find three hands-on education stations that cover launching a rocket to the Moon, setting a course to the Moon, and landing safely on the Moon. At each station, you will gather information and use your problem-solving skills to find clues leading to a computer code that will aid you on your mission.

Once finished return to the orientation area. Enter each computer code one at a time into a special computer interface. When all three computer codes have been entered correctly you can officially launch and land on the Moon. After experiencing your historic landing, an Explainer will congratulate you and present you with a special prize. Optional prizes are available for those who complete the crossword puzzle along the way and present it to an Explainer at the end.

For an optional challenge, stop by our Design Hangar to design, build, and test a return vehicle that will return all your astronauts safely to Earth. For those who complete the Design Hangar Challenge, a 4th computer code is awarded that will let you experience your return trip home.

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