NASA Ames Exploration Center
The NASA Ames Exploration Center (also called the NASA Ames Visitor Center) is a science museum/visitor center at the entrance of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. The center has the following exhibits:
- A Moon rock, a part of the lunar samples returned by the Apollo 15 mission in 1971.
- The Mercury-Redstone 1A capsule, launched in 1960 in a suborbital flight, it achieved an altitude of 130.7 miles.
- A high-resolution immersive theater with a 14-foot tall and 36-foot wide screen. The theater shows movies with footage from NASA's explorations of Mars and the planets, and about the contributions of the scientists at the NASA Ames Research Center.
- A model of the SOFIA aircraft, designed for infrared astronomy observations in the stratosphere.
- An exhibit dedicated to the Kepler Mission which is discovering planets around other stars.
- A mock-up of a space station.
The exploration center also has a gift shop where one can buy space and NASA-related memorabilia. The hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM, and 12 PM to 4 PM on weekends. It is closed Mondays and for Federal Holidays.