The Mighty Thor

26 May 2018 - 03 June 2018

Join our Mission Commanders, as we celebrate 60 years of our very own “Mighty Thor”.

Book online now and upgrade to a free annual pass

mascot Telescope Right
Launch of Thor/Able 3 on August 6, 1959. Credit: NASA

The Thor-Able was an American expendable launch system and sounding rocket used for a series of re-entry vehicle tests and satellite launches between 1958 and 1960.

This May Half Term Holiday we will be looking at the history of the Thor Able rocket, the work it carried out and some of its passengers.

Find out more about rocket science, make your own Moustronaut and take a Mini Thor Tour with our Science Interpreters.


Buy in advance

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

Vanguard Rocket. Credit: San Diego Air and Space Museum

It IS Rocket Science

In this live, exciting and explosive show, explore the history of rockets – from the colourful fireworks of ancient times, to the mighty space exploring rockets of today. Join us as we investigate the fiery power of rocket fuel, the explosive nature of forces and much more.

LIVE Space – 12:15, 13:15 and 15:15


Make your very own Minnie the Moustronaut to take home. Some simple bottle rocket science will see your Moustronaut launch and land safely every time.

Space Craft Zone – 11:00-13:00

Thor Handle Rockets

Imagine if you could make rocket fuel from string! Drop in to make your very own string powered Thor Able Rocket.

Space Craft Zone – 14:00-16:00

Mini Thor Tour

Sign up for a hosted mini tour with our Science Interpreters. Discover more about Thor Able, including the history of our very own artefact.

Sign up at the “Ask Me About” desk – first come first served – run throughout the day

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
We Are Stars allows you to explore the secrets of our cosmic chemistry, and our explosive origins. Connect life on Earth to the evolution of the Universe by following the formation of Hydrogen atoms to the synthesis of Carbon, and the molecules for life.

This show is an immersive 360 degree fulldome experience suitable for all the family. It includes educational content that will help children aged 7-14, as well as those with an interest in science and space.

Showings throughout the day.

Tour of the Night Sky, presenter-led
This is a presenter-led tour of what you can see in the sky above our city in the past, present and future. Take a tour that you can help create, through our solar system, to discover planets and moons. Go beyond to see other galaxies, stars, nebula and the wonders all around us.

Learn about the constellations and the stories behind them from cultures around the world.

This show is a traditional presenter-led planetarium show and is suitable for those with an interest in science and astronomy. The show is suitable for children aged 5+.

Monday – Friday: 14:30
Saturday – Sunday: 11:50 and 14:30

To see both shows an additional charge of £3 will be required.


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.

In addition, cold drinks can be purchased in the Shop.

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.

Park and Ride

The National Space Centre, Abbey Pumping Station and Dock all now have their very own Park and Ride bus stop. (Available Monday to Saturday)

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.