NASA's Ames Research Center is a key facility for many of NASA’s missions and projects.
Come to the Visitor Center and learn what we’re doing at this amazing NASA facility.
Open to the public free of charge!
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.
Inspire the next generation by becoming a NASA Ames volunteer! Visit the Ames volunteer page
for more information.
We ask that groups of 10 or more make a reservation. Please contact Cara Dodge at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information about group reservations.
Please note that NASA Ames Research Center is closed to the public. An average stay at the NASA Ames Visitor Center ranges between 1.5 and 2 hours. Please plan accordingly.
Uniview: 10:30 - 11:30 Weekdays, 12:30 - 1:30 Weekends
Take a tour of the Solar System with our staff-led presentation.
Destination Innovation: 11:30 - 12:00 Weekdays, 1:30 - 2:00 Weekends
Learn about fascinating technology hosted by Ames personnel with these four short video presentations.
Scaling the Solar System: 12:30 - 1:30 Weekdays, 2:00 - 3:00 Weekends
Planets range in density, color, distance, temperature, and mass
. In this hands-on activity, we will use craft dough and simple division to scale out the Solar System and discover how diverse our planetary neighbors really are! This activity runs in 20-minute sessions available to groups of 15 at a time.
Mars Rover Curiosity: 2:00 - 3:00 Weekdays, 3:00 - 4:00 Weekends
Learn about the most recent mission to Mars with this staff led presentation.
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!
Shuttle Cockpit Simulator: NOW OPEN!
– 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!
Other Current Exhibits
REAL Moon Rock
– On display in the Exploration 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.
– The NASA Exploration 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 Friendship 7, a Mercury capsule nearly identical to MR-1A.
– 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!
– 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
– Microgravity research has benefited our understanding of the universe. Take part in this fascinating field with the Living and Working in Space exhibit.
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