Operation Earth

10 - 25 February 2018

Take part in Operation Earth, an exciting new family show exploring the amazing stories and science of the environment.

Book online now and upgrade to a free annual pass

mascot Telescope Right

Operation Earth

Join our Mission Commanders, along with expert scientists, as we investigate the science of planet Earth.

Become a trainee environmental scientist and help us investigate land, air and oceans, and see if together we can find solutions to some of the issues surrounding us today.


Buy in advance

to upgrade to a free annual pass* and to guarantee entry

The Family Show

It is time for planet Earth to take a trip to the Doctor!

Discover how environmental scientists help us understand our changing planet. See how research over a period of time helps us identify patterns of change and how you can investigate and explore your natural environment.

LIVE Space – 12:15, 13:15 and 15:15

Drop in Science Sessions

Throughout the day our Science Interpreters will be hosting the following workshops, demonstrations and hands on science sessions:

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.

Each show combines the latest edge-blended video technologies, sound and computer animation to immerse you in a full 360º fulldome cinema experience.

Now Showing: ‘We Are Stars!’, narrated by Andy Serkis

More Information

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.

Pop-Up Café

Monday to Friday we will be running an additional café in our Shuttle Suites (conference rooms).

Serving a selection of hot and cold snacks, sandwiches and drinks, please look out for the signs if you need a break during the day.

Park and Ride

The National Space Centre, Abbey Pumping Station and Dock all now have their very own Park and Ride bus stop.

Just head to the Birstall Park and Ride site and hop on a bus to us. The stop is on Abbey Lane, opposite ASDA supermarket and just a short walk to the Centre (just look for the Rocket Tower). The Park and Ride option is a great option for special events, wet school holiday days and when the 400 spaces in our car park are full.

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

Half Term Handy Hints

This holiday period is traditionally busy at the Centre. It is cold and wet outside, so lots of people head to the delights of a warm and dry indoor attraction.

Buy tickets in advance
I know it sounds obvious and a little bit biased coming from us, but in reality, it will save you queuing and you can upgrade to a FREE Annual Pass when you buy them.

We have over 400 car parking spaces available each day
On busy days these do fill up very fast. Because of this, we have been working with Leicester City Council to add a stop close to the Centre for the Birstall Park and Ride. Just head to the Birstall Park and Ride site and hop on a bus to us. The stop is on Abbey Lane, opposite ASDA supermarket and just a short walk to the Centre (just look for the Rocket Tower). The journey to the Centre is just 8-9 minutes and the service operates every 15 minutes. Parking and your return fare are just £3.50 (no service on a Sunday).

Arrive early or late
We open at 10:00 and close at 17:00. If you get here at 09:45 you will beat the queues and be able to spend the whole day in the Centre, making sure you do everything. If you arrive after 14:00, we tend to be a lot quieter, as many visitors leave at this time. If you do arrive later don’t worry, you can still upgrade to a FREE Annual Pass and come back another time to see anything you missed, which might include a Planetarium show, as we cannot guarantee any show tickets will be left at 14:00.

When you collect your tickets make sure you pick up a map to help you find your way around the Centre.
You will also have a fulldome show in the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium included in your first visit. This will be allocated when you buy your tickets, so check to see what time this is and ensure you are at the Planetarium 10 minutes prior to your show time. You will not want to miss this!

Pop Up Café
As well as Boosters Café, we will be running a Pop Up Coffee Cafe Monday to Friday in the Shuttle Suites, serving sandwiches, hot dogs, soup, tea, coffee, soft drinks and snacks. Boosters Café does get busy around the lunchtime period. Consider taking lunch early or late to beat the queues.

The 3D SIM is very popular
If you arrive early, head straight for it (it is in Tranquillity Base). If you see a queue when you arrive, wait to the end of the day, when the queue is normally much shorter or non-existent. For your safety you must be 120cm to ride the SIM.

As with the SIM, the Rocket Tower is always quietest in the morning
Head left and up the stairs after the ticket desk to visit all three decks before other people arrive. Lifts for the Rocket Tower can be found in the Into Space gallery and if you have a large mobility scooter please ask a member of Space Crew for assistance to use the main lift in the Rocket Tower from the ground floor.

Extra talks and activities happen over all holiday periods
At the entrance to the Centre you will find display boards with the times and locations of all the talks and activities. With the exception of our additional Planetarium show, they are all free, so make sure you take part.

We have an indoor picnic space
It is situated in the John Egglestone Suite, which is the large building at the bottom of the ramp as you arrive, to the side of the Rocket Tower.