Columbia Memorial Space Center

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The Columbia Memorial Space Center at twilight
Photo by Jerry Blackburn

The Columbia Memorial Space Center brings the wonder and excitement of science and innovation to visitors of all ages. It is a hands-on space museum and activity center that strives to be the most accessible science-based experience in the Los Angeles area. While acknowledging the rich aerospace history of Southern California, the Space Center focuses on the future, working to be the hub of innovative science learning throughout the region by reaching out to all of its communities with activities focused on critical thinking, creativity, technology and science.

The Columbia Memorial Space Center is owned and operated by the City of Downey and was built on the site of the former NASA Downey facility. It is named the official national memorial to the Space Shuttle Columbia by a joint resolution of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The Space Center honors the crew of STS-107 lost on February 1, 2003 – Rick Husband, Willie McCool, Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark and IIan Ramon.

The Center officially opened its doors to the public in October 2009. This innovative 20,000 square foot, two-story building features a Robotics Lab, High Definition Computer Lab, and a wide range of interactive exhibits that provide engaging insights into Space Shuttle operations, living and working on the International Space Station, exploration of our solar system, aerospace engineering, and the range of fields of study and jobs related to human and robotic space exploration.

The Space Center is located on 12400 Columbia Way (formerly Clark Ave) in Downey, California. It is open to the general public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, with special hours available for school groups. Admission is $5 per person, 3 years and younger are free.