Saturday, February 13, 2016

Johnson Space Center - Houston TX

From our parking space
Our next stop in Texas was the Johnson Space Center in Houston. As you park and walk to the building you see a NASA classic - a Space Shuttle piggybacked on the NASA Boeing 747. You can go inside this exact replica shuttle once you enter the building.

Actual Apollo 17 Command
The Starship Gallery is a great set of displays giving the history of the U.S. space program. We enjoyed going through and both learning, and reliving, the historic events and accomplishments. I would say this is the must see of the building.

There are a number of theaters showing films on both the past and the future of the U.S. space program. We found each to be well done and informative. There is an exhibit dedicated to the International Space Station and another to Astronauts. Basically, they cover it all somewhere in the building.
Saturn rocket

We took the tram tour and, frankly, this was the one part of the day that was somewhat disappointing. We only made two stops, did not get to see Mission Control, and mostly just drove around looking at buildings and were told what was done inside. The two stops we had were the space shuttle training facility and the Rocket Park. There wasn't much to see at either of these stops but seeing the Saturn rocket was the one thing that made the tour worth the time. It was built to be used for Apollo 18 which was shelved.
Orion - NASA's new exploration

We learned about Orion, NASA's new exploration spacecraft. There are big plans for this program including putting people on Mars within 20-25 years.

Some tidbits:
The International Space Station is visible from earth, if you know when and where to look. There is a website where you put in your location and it tells you if/when/where to look to see it pass over. The site is

There is a website dedicated to Mars exploration. It discusses past, present and future Mars missions. The site is

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