Mission Mars

15 - 23 February 2020

Mars needs YOU!

Book online now and upgrade to a free annual pass

mascot Telescope Right
Mars exploration (artist impression). Credit: NASA

“It might be helpful to realise, that very probably the parents of the first native born Martians are alive today.” — Harrison ‘Jack’ Schmitt, Apollo 17

Every 26 months or so, Earth and Mars get closer. As they near one another, a window of opportunity opens for launching to the red planet. In the summer of 2020, four space agencies around the world plan to launch pioneering missions.

Come and discover what we know, what is happening right now and the future of landing humans on Mars.

Mars: 2020 and Beyond

Join us for a live science show to explore the exciting missions launching to Mars in 2020 and learn about future robotic and human exploration of the red planet!

Time: 12:30, 13:30 and 15:00 Location: Live Space

Destination Mars

Explore our science zone filled with fun hands on Mars themed activities! Investigate the senses of Mars, Mars geology and more!

Time: 11:00-16:00 Location: Live Space

Meet the Expert

Hear about the latest Mars missions and research by experts in Martian exploration!

Weekends only (Feb 15/16 and 22/23)

Time: 13:00 Location: Live Space

Meet Bruno

Come and meet our special guest, Bruno, a working model of the ExoMars rover, alongside Airbus Exomars experts who will drive Bruno across our mini Martian surface here at the National Space Centre.

Planetarium Show

When you buy a ticket to the National Space Centre you will also be able to see one of our award-winning planetarium shows at no extra cost.


If you are visiting with an Annual Pass, you can buy a show for £3 per person (subject to availability) upon arrival at the Centre.

Now Showing: CAPCOM GO!

An immersive fulldome show celebrating the Apollo Space programme. Take a seat in the UK’s largest Planetarium to see our latest award-winning show.


CAPCOM GO! showcases the achievements of the Apollo program and what it took to put the first human on the Moon.

Café and Picnics

Boosters café will be serving a selection of freshly made seasonal sandwiches, as well as soups, hot dogs, nachos, snacks, cakes, fruit, crisps and Leicester roasted real bean coffees and teas.

If you want to bring your own food, there will be a picnic space available in the John Eggleston Suite, which you can find next to the Rocket Tower.

Handy Half Term Hints

The National Space Centre is busiest on wet half term days in February and October.

To ensure the very best experience please check out our handy hints below:

• Buy tickets in advance to guarantee entry and beat the queues (available up to midnight the day prior to you visit).
• Arrive early. Peak arrival is from 11:00. We open at 10:00, so the Centre is quieter for the first hour.
• Arrive late. Although this option does sometimes mean you won’t get a planetarium show included in your first visit, your ticket will automatically be upgraded to an Annual Pass*, so we can give you a ticket for a FREE show on your second visit. From 14:00 the Centre is a lot quieter.
• Car parking is £3 for the whole day and you can either pay at the machine upon arrival, or you can pay at the ticket desk and give us your car registration. We have over 400 car parking spaces available. If the car park is full please do not park in residential areas around the Centre, the Birstall Park and Ride is only 2 miles away and the bus stops on Abbey Lane for a short walk to the Centre.
• Visit popular areas first – the Rocket Tower gets very busy during peak periods (11:00-14:00) so plan to visit here outside of these hours.
• If you are planning to bring very young children to the Centre, please look out for our Small Space Days, which have been specifically designed to offer a toddler friendly environment and lots of extra activities to stimulate little hands and minds.

*terms and conditions apply. See Annual Pass for full details.