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NASA Ames Visitor Center


Open to the public free of charge!

NASA's Ames Research Center is a key facility for many of NASA's missions and projects. Come to the Ames' Visitor Center and learn what we're doing at this amazing NASA facility. The NASA Ames Visitor Center is a self-guided tour and an average stay at the NASA Ames Visitor Center is about one hour. Please plan accordingly.

Location: Located at the main gate to NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California. 15 minutes northwest of San Jose, California, just off U.S. 101 at the "Moffett Blvd / NASA Parkway" exit.

Hours: Wednesday - Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday noon - 4 p.m. We are closed Mondays, Tuesdays and federal holidays.

Contact (Visitor Center): (650) 604-6497            Contact (Gift Shop): (650) 604-5412

Volunteering: Inspire the next generation by becoming a NASA Ames volunteer! Visit the Ames Volunteer Page for more information.

Reservation (only needed for groups 10 or more): Please email a completed copy of our reservation form to Samantha Flores at samantha.f.flores@nasa.gov.

Also be sure to check out the Ames Exploration Encounter, a unique educational experience for 4th - 6th grade classes!

Please note that NASA Ames Research Center is closed to the public.

For Teachers

Coming to the Visitor Center for a field trip? Download our Field Trip Experiences Bookmarks to help guide your visit!

3rd Grade          4th Grade         5th Grade         6th Grade         7th Grade         8th Grade

Other Current Exhibits

Science on a Sphere – See our world, and many others, from a new perspective with the Science on a Sphere Visualization System. Originally developed by NOAA, the Science on a Sphere offers visitors a new look at the planets in the Universe with a large, spherical projection system. Come see weather patterns, earthquake data, and much more!

Ames Spacecraft Missions – NASA's Ames Research Center has been involved in pivotal spacecraft missions that have redefined our view of our planetary neighbors and beyond! Come and view models of previous and recent spacecraft missions from NASA Ames!

Discovering the Moon – On loan from Marshal Space Flight Center, try out the Magic Planet system and learn about the Moon in a whole new light! Featuring NASA mission data, Discovering the Moon covers interesting discoveries about the Moon, and what we want to learn next!

REAL Moon Rock – On display in the Visitor Center is a REAL lunar sample retrieved by the crew of Apollo 15 from the Moon's Hadley-Apennine region. This sample is part of the 169 pounds retrieved from the lunar surface during the crew's 66.9-hour stay on the Moon.

Shuttle Cockpit Simulator – Human factors researchers at NASA Ames study the interactions of humans and computers to improve that interaction and its efficiency. The Shuttle Cockpit Simulator will allow you to glimpse the types of research that this fascinating group does! Scheduled to open late March.

Immersive Theater – The NASA Ames Visitor Center features a high-resolution Immersive Theater with a 14-foot tall and 36-foot wide screen. High-definition videos show in detail Mars missions, simulated flights through the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond, science contributions of scientists at NASA Ames Research Center, and much more!

Mercury Redstone 1A (MR-1A) – This capsule, launched on December 19, 1960, attained an altitude of 130.7 statute miles. MR-1A was the last unmanned test flight before the Mercury 7 astronauts took flight. Five months after MR-1A flew, on May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American to fly in space aboard Freedom 7, a Mercury capsule nearly identical to MR-1A.

[image-62]SOFIA – NASA developed the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy - or SOFIA - as a world-class airborne observatory that will complement the Hubble, Spitzer, Herschel and James Webb space telescopes and major Earth-based telescopes. Come see the original wind-tunnel model of SOFIA now on display!

Kepler – The Kepler Mission is designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy and has discovered over a thousand potential new planets orbiting near-by stars. Learn about this innovative mission with our knowledgeable docents!

Living and Working in Space – Micro-gravity research has benefited our understanding of the universe. Take part in this fascinating field with the Living and Working in Space exhibit.


NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California 94035

GPS Coordinates: 37.40899 N, 122.06417 W

From Highway 101: Exit at 'Moffett Blvd / NASA Parkway', then turn right onto Moffett Blvd. and proceed to the four way stop sign at the main gate.

From Highway 85: From Highway 85 Northbound, exit at 'Moffett Blvd' and then turn right onto Moffett Blvd. and proceed to the four way stop sign at the main gate.

› Map and directions to NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California

Exploration Center
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NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy
With the sliding door over its 17-ton infrared telescope wide open, NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy – or SOFIA – soars over California's snow-covered Southern Sierras on a test flight in 2010 (NASA / Jim Ross)
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Page Last Updated: March 6th, 2015
Page Editor: NASA Administrator