BOSTON, MA – The Museum of Science today introduced its newest Center for Public Science Learning, focused on space exploration. The Center for Space Sciences brings together academia, industry, government and the public to create a vision for – and a commitment to – making space exploration accessible and relevant for all. The Center has translated this vision into cutting-edge learning experiences, kicking off with an array of interactive programming and content focused on Mars. 

“The Center for Space Sciences is the most recent example of our efforts to redefine what it means to be a museum in a time of rapid scientific change,” said Museum of Science President Tim Ritchie. “As one of three Centers for Public Science Learning, it builds on our superpower as a convener, bringing together academic experts, industry leaders, researchers and innovators, government, and the general public to ensure science and technology are relevant and accessible to all.” 

The Center will harness the natural wonder and awe of astronomy and space exploration through on-site exhibits and live presentations, virtual learning experiences, and in-classroom activities and experiences. The Center plays a unique role in connecting astronomers and multidisciplinary researchers with the general public, including K-12 schools and community groups, to expand public discourse and make space exploration accessible and relevant for all. 

The Center for Space Sciences will be helmed by Dani LeBlanc, currently the Museum’s Director of the Charles Hayden Planetarium and Director of Immersive Theaters and Programs. 

“We’re witnessing a breathtaking new era for space exploration that’s unfolding in real time,” said LeBlanc. “The Center for Space Sciences will help everyone understand how, with our combined skills, creativity, and spirit, we can reach farther than ever before, gain new perspectives on our own planet, and discover solutions along the way that will benefit and improve countless lives on Earth.”

Through the launch of a “Mars Spotlight,” a collection of Mars-themed experiences on-site, online and in classrooms, the Center brings to life the ingenuity and technological feats that make Mars journeys possible, the geology of Mars and the myriad of challenges it presents for humans seeking to survive on its surface, and the insatiable human curiosity that inspires us to explore new worlds while imagining a better future for our own home. New activities include:

  • Mars Globe – a giant globe at the center of the Museum’s iconic Blue Wing greets visitors and includes some of the Red Planet’s most famous surface features.  
  • Mars Rover – the Museum’s AI exhibit features a full-scale model of NASA’s Perseverance rover. 
  • Experience: Mars Immersive Room – visitors step into an interactive, prototype immersive room and study the Martian surface up close.
  • Explore Mars: Live! – Join an educator in the Planetarium as your pilot and help guide your own adventure to the Red Planet, choosing the topics and destinations that most interest you.

In December 2022, the Museum made its first entry into the metaverse with the launch of “Mission: Mars” on Roblox, a global platform connecting tens of millions of people through immersive 3D experiences. Since its launch, “Mission: Mars” has seen nearly 2,000,000 visitors engaged in the engineering design process with new missions now live here

The Center for Space Sciences joins the Museum’s Center for Life Sciences, established in 2022.  More information on the Centers for Public Science Learning can be found here.