Canberra Space Centre is a unique and informative learning environment for students of all ages.
Closed to the public
In response to COVID-19, the Canberra Space Centre and Deep Space Café located at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex are constantly reviewing their ability to be open to the public and also provide school education programs. For the current status of their opening times and availability, please see their website (www.cdscc.nasa.gov) for details or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
School and public groups are invited to come and learn about the planets, the story of space travel, and how we communicate with spacecraft exploring our Solar System and beyond. Bookings are essential for school and large groups.
Education programs at Canberra Space Centre
We offer a variety of school education program formats that target the curriculum standards and meet classroom lesson plans. Our staff can provide guided talks and activities that are suitable for primary and secondary school students.
Our free education programs run for 90 minutes. However, we understand that you might have less time available, especially for interstate schools, and can tailor a program to suit. We do recommend making 90-minutes available so that we can cover the topics below (or something else you'd like us to concentrate on) and provide extra time for all those great questions your students are likely to ask.
Upper primary and secondary school visits
A typical visit for upper primary (Years 5–6) and secondary school students can include:
- a brief introduction on arrival, and an orientation to the visitor centre's facilities
- familiarisation with key historical aspects of the Complex, including the story of our 26-metre antenna Deep Space Station 46 (DSS-46); this was the antenna responsible for returning the first pictures of Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon in July 1969
- an introduction to the other antennas, particularly DSS-43, the largest antenna in the southern hemisphere
- an overview of the work of the CDSCC and the significant role that Australia plays in space exploration
- an introduction to an actual piece of lunar rock returned from the Moon—a 3.8-billion-year-old piece of lunar basalt—one of only a handful of Moon rocks on public display around the world
- time to look through the centre's exhibits; fact sheets are available to collect
- a short video presentation shown in our theatrette—we have a variety of films on the Complex and aspects of space exploration, and we take a look at some of the latest images being returned from space
- time for questions about exploring space, spacecraft tracking, or take questions on a specific area that you wish to cover as part of your current lesson plan (advance notice of your needs will assist us)
- spare time, which can include opportunities for your students to explore the Centre further, watch other videos, or visit the Moon Rock Café (catering available), and gift shop.
Early primary school visits
For early primary school students (K–4), students are full of questions about rockets, astronauts, stars and the planets. We take a look at space through our exhibits, including large scale models and photos of the Solar System and ensure that there's plenty of time for Q&A and exploring the Centre.
Booking your visit to Canberra Space Centre
We look forward to making your visit as easy and enjoyable as possible. Please note that places fill quickly each term, so your advance booking helps us to ensure that staff are available to guide you through your visit.
Our school programs operate:
- from February through to the end of November only
- Monday to Friday (except on ACT school and public holidays).
The first program starts at 9.00am and the last group starts at 3.00pm. Each session lasts 90 minutes.
Entry to the Canberra Space Centre and our school programs is free.
The CDSCC is not an Observatory with optical telescopes. We do not offer night-time programs. Our work is in two-way robotic spacecraft communication and radio astronomy.
Contact the visitors centre
Canberra Space Centre