Kids can try on real spacesuits at Challenger Space Center

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PEORIA, Ariz. -- An "out-of-this-world" experience is waiting for you and your kids at the Challenger Space Center in Peoria this summer.

Kids can actually try on real spacesuits, thanks to a brand new exhibit that just opened last weekend.

Four authentic spacesuits are on temporary loan to Challenger Space Center Arizona, on exhibit to the general public for a limited engagement through August 1. The suits will share gallery space with “They Came From Outer Space,” a popular meteorite exhibit which will continue to be available to the public through October 3, 2014.

The four spacesuits in the exhibit include a NASA Launch Entry Suit worn by former astronaut and current NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a Sokol space suit worn by NASA Astronaut Dr. Edward Lu aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and a Sokol suit shell.

In addition, visitors will enjoy a special photo display stand which incorporates a genuine Orlan spacesuit used by cosmonauts in the Russian Space Program. The display allows visitors to step into the suit and take pictures. The suit itself, including helmet and gloves, is over 30 years old and is an actual piece of space history.

A lunar meteorite will also be added to the exhibition. Lunar meteorites are actual pieces of the moon that fall to Earth's surface. Scientists are able to determine their origin by comparing them to rock samples collected by Apollo astronauts on the moon.

Challenger Space Center is generally open to the public Mon. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Though the museum is typically closed Sundays, the museum will open July 6, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., just for the Spacesuits exhibition. Exhibits are included with general admission.

“It is rare to have an opportunity to touch an actual spacesuit, so we hope the public will take advantage of this in the coming month,” said Kari Sliva, President/CEO of Challenger Space Center Arizona. “Our programs are about applied sciences, and the ‘hands-on’ nature of this exhibit is a perfect fit for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Children participating in our Adventures In Space Summer Camp, in particular, have a rare treat in store for them. We’re thrilled,” Sliva said.

The Center also offers kids' camps all summer long.

It is located at:
21170 N 83rd Ave
Peoria, AZ 85382

For more information visit: www.azchallenger.org.