It’s out of this world fun at Discovery Science Center’s new, permanent, exhibit, Boeing Rocket Lab. Discover your inner astronaut. Boeing Rocket Lab is designed for kids (and kids at heart) who love all things space, and want to learn about the science of space, rockets, and engineering.
Blast Off Zone
Lifted high inside DSC’s giant 8,000-square foot cube hangs a real Delta Rocket RS-68 booster engine – set to simulate its own launch! The Boeing RS-68, developed by Rockedyne in 1995, is a liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen powered rocket engine that is used in the Delta IV launch vehicle family.
Once inside the Cube, look up into the booster engine and press the launch button to trigger the countdown: 3… 2… 1… BLAST OFF! Surrounded by video screens, blasts of fog, and state-of-the-art sound effects, prepare to experience a rocket launch like you never thought possible.
When a rocket launches, where does the cloud of smoke come from and how does it help the rocket leave the ground? In order to launch, a rocket engine throws a mass of gas out in one direction in order to get a reaction in the opposite direction… up.
In the Nozzle Chamber, experiment with the size of a nozzle opening in a combustion chamber, simulating the acceleration of gases as they leave a rocket. Manipulate the size of the opening to change the force of the gases, thereby increasing or decreasing the thrust of a rocket.
Rocket Fuel Station
At the Rocket Fuel Station, learn about the chemistry behind different kinds of rocket fuels used by the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL). Find out why the Delta IV RS-68 booster engine uses a mix of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen – and what happens when they combine.
Then, use your knowledge to answer a series of questions. Each correct answer initiates part of the launch sequence. Can your knowledge carry you all the way through to blast off?
Rocket Launch Station
Now that you’ve fueled up, time for the launch! At the Rocket Launch Station, launch your imagination to new heights as you learn about propulsion and launch compressed air and water rockets on a controlled path.
Experiment with the rockets to discover the optimal ratio of water to air and compete against one another to see whose rocket can launch the highest! Watch out... you may get wet!