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Goddard Events & Programs

A young girl with a long blond ponytail and black T-shirt faces away from the camera, watching a small model rocket lift off from its launch pad. The rocket is behind yellow caution tape, and a thin stream of white smoke billows out from its end into a small white cloud underneath as it shoots diagonally up toward the upper right corner of the image. The grass between the child and the rocket is green, and the background is dense, dark green trees.

Recurring Events:

Grow With Goddard

Third Thursday of the Month, 9 – 10 a.m.

Grow with Goddard! Join us for activities and demonstrations for ages 3-5 here at our visitor center during a special morning hour before we open to the public. Please see the list of dates and topics below. Registration is required for each child participant. Parents and guardians do not need to register, but at least one parent or guardian must be on-site for the program.

Registration is required for this event: NASA Goddard Visitor Center | Eventbrite

  • July 18- Water, Water Everywhere!
  • August 15- Shapes in Space
A small boy wearing an astronaut costume stands and looks up at a model of the James Webb Space Telescope. Colorful images of stars and nebulas line the walls behind him.
A young guest explores the exhibits at the Goddard Visitor Center.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Dhyan Emmanuel

Summer Science Series

Saturday June 29, July 13 and 27, and August 10, 1 – 3 p.m.

Join us for family-friendly, hands-on activities every other Saturday from June 29 to Aug. 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Goddard Visitor Center! Each program will have activities based on different science themes. Registration is not required for these free programs.

  • June 29- Asteroids!
  • July 13-Seeing the Universe
  • July 27-Exploring the Earth
  • Aug 10-The Sun: Our Favorite Star
A young child interacts with a sunspot exhibit.
A young guest interacts with the Visitor Center’s Heliophysics exhibit.

Space for Me

Saturday July 27, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Explore the Goddard Visitor Center during a sensory-friendly hour before we open for the day. Sounds and lighting in our exhibit spaces will be limited during this time. We will also have touch items for visitors to experience. Registration is required for this free program and information can be found on our Eventbrite site here.

A young girl with a long blond ponytail and black T-shirt faces away from the camera, watching a small model rocket lift off from its launch pad. The rocket is behind yellow caution tape, and a thin stream of white smoke billows out from its end into a small white cloud underneath as it shoots diagonally up toward the upper right corner of the image. The grass between the child and the rocket is green, and the background is dense, dark green trees.
A girl watches a model rocket take off from the Goddard Visitor Center on July 14, 2013.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Talya Lerner

Model Rocket Launches

First Sunday of each month at 1 p.m.

(some holidays excluded; weather, security conditions permitting; call ahead to confirm: 301-286-8981)

Like to build model rockets, but don’t have a launch pad? Now you do! Anyone can bring a model to fly at the Goddard Visitor Center rocket launches; there are no costs or fees to participate. Rockets, motors and supplies are available for purchase at the nearby Goddard Gift Shop (and many hobby shops or toy stores) and you can even get rocket construction and launch tips from our on-site experts on launch day!

Don’t want to launch your own rocket? That’s fine, too — come out to watch, and cheer on our rocketeers!

Model rocket launches are held at the Goddard Visitor Center the first Sunday of the month (some holidays excluded, and weather and security conditions permitting). Launches start at 1 p.m. and are brought to you by the NARHAMS Model Rocket club (http://www.narhams.org/). These launches have been part of Visitor Center programs since 1976.

Visitors bring and prepare their own models; a group safety briefing is given at 1 p.m., and models are given a preflight safety assessment. We allow single-engine models that must not exceed C-class models. 1/2A or A models work best for our field. We do not permit models whose altitude may exceed 2,000 feet, nor do we normally allow glider models.

Weather decisions will be made the day of the launch — to check the status of a launch, please contact the Visitor Center front desk at 301-286-8981.

Sunday Experiment

This program runs Sept – May and does not occur during the summer months of June, July, and August. Please check back later for more information about upcoming September and October programs!

You can also check out the past virtual Sunday Experiment series here.

Other Goddard Events and Programs

Please note: The events and activities listed below are not affiliated with Goddard’s Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is listing them here as a courtesy. For more information, please contact the respective sponsoring organizations.

Visit the following websites for information on seminars and colloquia at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Image showing the path light will travel through Roman's mirrors
An optical technician lays on a diving board suspended between NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope’s primary and secondary mirrors. The photo is a projected reflection through the telescope’s optical path. The technician shines a beam of light through the optical system toward the future location of the Wide Field Instrument, showing how light from cosmic sources will travel through the telescope once the mission launches.
Image showing the path light will travel through Roman's mirrors
An optical technician lays on a diving board suspended between NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope’s primary and secondary mirrors. The photo is a projected reflection through the telescope’s optical path. The technician shines a beam of light through the optical system toward the future location of the Wide Field Instrument, showing how light from cosmic sources will travel through the telescope once the mission launches.
Image showing the path light will travel through Roman's mirrors
An optical technician lays on a diving board suspended between NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope’s primary and secondary mirrors. The photo is a projected reflection through the telescope’s optical path. The technician shines a beam of light through the optical system toward the future location of the Wide Field Instrument, showing how light from cosmic sources will travel through the telescope once the mission launches.