Smithsonian TechQuest: Astronaut Academy

Status Report From: NASA Education Office
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Smithsonian TechQuest: Astronaut Academy, at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, is a free alternate-reality game that will challenge you to become an astronaut-in-training for a future trip to Mars. Choose what role you will play on the mission; engage in fun interactive activities; and explore the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills you will need as a next-generation space traveler. Along the way, you’ll learn about some of the museum’s fascinating artifacts.

Instructions and guidance are given via a special webpage accessed on your mobile device. Players should bring their own phones or devices equipped with an internet browser and a camera. Having a digital picture-taking device (smartphone, tablet, camera) is highly recommended but not required.

The game is aimed at upper elementary and middle school visitors and their families. Do you want to bring a group? Reservations are required for groups larger than 15.

The next offering of the Astronaut Academy is on April 8, 2016. Begin your training with Astronaut Orientation in the Claude Moore Education Center Classroom 1 located on the first level across from the restrooms. Astronaut Orientation is offered at regular intervals between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The last opportunity to start the game is at 2:30 p.m. A self-guided activity, the game should take between 60 and 90 minutes, and staff will help you along the way.

For more information, including a full list of upcoming Astronaut Academy dates, visit

Please direct questions about the Smithsonian TechQuest: Astronaut Academy to the visitor service line at 202-633-2214.

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