Native Texan Livin': Native Texan Travels: Space Center Houston

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Native Texan Travels: Space Center Houston

NASA Space Center Houston


Once again, I realized I've lived in this city my whole life and I've NEVER been to Space Center Houston!!!  I decided this is happening a little more often than I'd like to admit!  I guess when you drive by something weekly, if not more frequently, it becomes a little less MUST HAVE TO SEE IT RIGHT NOW...LET ME IN!  Know what I mean?


This is a bit of a #laterpost as this trip was during Spring Break of this year, but who's judging?!  STOP JUDGING! ;-)  Although, I have a feeling there's gonna be a lot of #laterposts coming up. (Is that a thing...like a #latergram? If not, then call me creative.(although, I'm pretty sure it's already a thing! )) 


OK, let's get back on track! :-)  My sister drove down to Houston from Austin with her boys & we decided to take a field trip to Space Center Houston.  Right before you enter the gates, you'll see 2 T-38A Talon jets on display.  Look close enough & you'll see each jet has its own pilot!  Hi fellas! ;-)
T-38A Talon Jets NASA Johnson Space Center Space Center Houston, TX

NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center  Houston, TX


This is the parking lot guys!  AMAZING!!!
Shuttle replica Space Center Houston

Shuttle replica with kids Space Center Houston


We arrived shortly after Space Center Houston opened & our first stop was Independence Plaza.  Before you ever leave home, you can sign up for timed tickets...a free perk with your paid admission ticket so you can bypass waiting in a long line to get on the Independence. (think fast-pass)  The timed tickets are free, so there's really no reason NOT to get one!  If you don't get one, you'll most likely find yourself weaving in/out of those cattle call lines.)
Space Center Houston rover

Posing in front of the Endeavour replica at Space Center Houston


You can walk up the stairs or take an elevator up to the Independence replica.  (Yeah, you heard me right...I said replica.  Let's not open up that can of worms again on who got the REAL shuttle!)  Moving on...you walk into the Independence flight deck & the cockpit is off to the right.  It's a pretty small area to walk around in so you kinda just have to wait your turn to get up to the front.  One more level down & you can see a very cramped sleeping quarters & restroom.
Shuttle replica cockpit Space Center Houston


Again, one more level down, you enter the original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft.  This is the world's only shuttle mounted on a shuttle carrier aircraft (SCA) & the only one that allows the public to enter both!  The SCA is full of exhibits, artifacts, experiments & information about past missions.  Have you ever placed a shuttle on top of an SCA?  Maggie & Liam did!Playing in the plane Space Center Houston


This is a cool wall you see as you walk back into the building from Independence Plaza.  It shows the Endeavor flying over Houston.  This was actually really cool to see in person.  They flew over the entire city...even flew over our house!
Endeavour flying over Houston - Space Center Houston

Endeavour replica flying over Houston - Space Center Houston


After Independence Plaza, we played in the Kid Space Place.  We saw how much we would weigh on different planets, played with different experiments, we did some simulation landings & took off in our own little spacecraft capsule!
Maggie flying a simulator - Space Center Houston

Shuttle Simulator - Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston Kid Zone


Next up was the tram tour!  Once again, you can get a timed ticket for FREEEEE!

There are different tram tours to choose from, but with each one, you have to get back in line.  We chose to go to Building 9, which was the Vehicle Mock-Up Facility. The Space Center Houston site describes this as:
From the catwalk high above the massive floor, you’ll see several mock-ups of International Space Station parts and even get a look at the new Orion capsule. You might see pieces of the Canada Arm or other new and developing tech that will pave the way for future exploration. Cutting edge rovers, robots, next-level space suits. Here is where the impossible is happening right now. Be a part of history in the making as you witness engineers, scientists and astronauts shaping the future of space exploration.
Building 9 - Vehicle Mock-up Facility - Space Center Houston

ISS - Building 9 - Vehicle Mock-up Facility - Space Center Houston

Orion - Red Line Tour - Space Center Houston

Building 9 Vehicle Mock-up Facility robot


All tram tours end with a visit to Saturn V at Rocket Park.  You can walk around outside to explore before heading in to see the world's only complete Saturn V!  This actually used to be completely open outside along a main road where you could see it every time you drove by.  It was really cool to see & we were all a bit sad when they started building a building over it.  However, it was starting to deteriorate, so they did a full restoration to get it as close as possible back to its original glory.
Izzy at Rocket Park - Space Center Houston

Sign at Rocket Park - Space Center Houston

Rocket at Rocket Park - Space Center Houston

Rocket Park - Space Center Houston

Saturn V at Rocket Park - Space Center Houston

Kids in front of Saturn V - Space Center Houston

Me & My Girls - Space Center Houston

Saturn V at Rocket Park astronaut display

Saturn V Rocket Park


After our tour, we stopped in the food court for a quick bite to eat before exploring the rest of Space Center Houston.  There is SO much to see & do!  Experiments, live shows, a theater, displays & exhibits...
Space Center Houston shuttle model

Displays at Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston display


Kids playing in Space Center Houston


Maggie - Space Center Houston

Maggie driving the rover - Space Center Houston


We had a fabulous time exploring!  Until next time...
Kids after Space Center Houston


“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan

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