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Members enjoy FREE James S. McDonnell Planetarium show tickets with EVERY visit!

James S. McDonnell Planetarium

The James S. McDonnell Planetarium is your gateway to the stars! Marvel as the world’s best opto-mechanical star projector, the ZEISS UNIVERSARIUM Modell IX, simulates the most realistic night sky on our 24-meter dome!

Relax, discover and explore with one of our Planetarium Educators during one of our interactive shows. It is sure to be a stellar experience you won’t forget!

Boeing Space Station and Orthwein StarBay

The Boeing Space Station has two levels of exhibits that incorporate scientific research, illustrating the future of space travel. The Orthwein StarBay has several lab areas, including the SBC Learning Center, that gives you a glimpse of what it’s like to live and work on the International Space Station. In the Crew Quarters see how dwellers eat, exercise, sleep and dress in space, as well as how medical needs and the station’s internal and external environments are maintained.

Star Projector

The StarBay’s most amazing feature is the central open area dominated by the ZEISS UNIVERSARIUM Model IX which projects more than 9,100 stars and deep sky objects onto a 24-meter dome creating a brilliant star field.

Visitors can look up and see what the actual night sky would look like without the interference of weather, pollution or city lights.

Special features allow Planetarium staff to demonstrate eclipses, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena. The immensity and clarity of the view creates a sense of wonder that stimulates the imagination.


The StarBridge, located on the highest level, focuses on the navigation and operations essential for life in space. Exhibits demonstrate the roles that communication, astronomical research, power and exploration play in maintaining a space station.

Liftoff Exhibit

The Liftoff Exhibit in the Planetarium lobby features a real Mercury and Gemini spacecraft which were built right here in St. Louis!

Enjoy Mission: Mars Base also in the Planetarium lobby, learn what it is like to work on a Martian base and even touch a real Martian meteorite!

Complete Braille guides are available for the Liftoff gallery at the Planetarium box office upon request.

To learn more about Planetarium programs choose from the links below.

The James S. McDonnell Planetarium is illuminated nightly for all to enjoy. This illumination has helped raise awareness for charities and causes through special illumination requests. The Saint Louis Science Center administers all special color illumination requests within the Saint Louis Science Center’s James S. McDonnell Planetarium policy and current guidelines. Click here to make a request. 

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