Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center Opens in Downey, California

Press Release From: Challenger Center for Space Science Education
Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2009

image New Facility includes 47th Challenger Learning Center

The Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center opens today in Downey, California. The facility is a memorial to the crews of both the space shuttle Columbia, lost in 2003, and Challenger, lost in 1986. Among the Center's diverse program offerings will be a Challenger Learning Center, where students will fly simulated space missions. Students work in teams in a mission control room patterned after the NASA facility and in a simulated spacecraft ready for exploration and learning. The Downey location joins 46 other locations in the growing international network of Challenger Learning Centers that fly hundreds of thousands of students every year.

"We congratulate the Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center on their grand opening today and look forward to working with them to bring hands-on space science programs to students and teachers in the Southern California area," said Dan Barstow, President, Challenger Center for Space Science Education.

The City of Downey has been the site of aviation ingenuity and achievement since 1929, featuring large scale aircraft manufacturing, missile design and development, and ultimately, the design and production of the Apollo command and service modules during the lunar program and development and production of the space shuttle orbiters.

For information on the Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center, visit

Using space exploration as a theme and simulations as a vehicle, Challenger Center creates positive educational experiences that raise students' expectations of success, fosters a long-term interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and inspires students to pursue studies and careers in these areas. To learn more, visit

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