Friday, April 9, 2010


Tuesday, April 6 – Visited the Space Center Houston today.



What a great deal. If you buy your tickets on line, they are half price. I got a regular ticket and Marsha got the Astronaut Audio Tour. She really enjoyed listening to the Astronaut give detailed information about the displays.

Our friends, Duane and Louise, went with us. We left at 8:30 a.m. and returned at 7:30 pm. We were at the Space Center from its opening to closing and still didn’t see all the movies and displays. To get it all in, a two-day visit is needed.

The Space Center was very interesting and educational. Space Center Houston is located at 1601 NASA Parkway (formerly NASA Rd. 1), Houston, TX 77058, approximately 25 miles south of downtown Houston in the NASA/Clear Lake area.

We began with the film "On Human Destiny" at the Destiny Theater. Artifacts and hardware on display in the Starship Gallery trace the progression of America's Manned Space Flight.

There were many displays and big screen movies explaining the operation of the shuttle and space station.

Apollo 17 was the final Apollo mission to the moon, the eleventh manned Apollo mission, the first night launch and the sixth and final lunar landing mission of the NASA Apollo program.

Apollo 17 Command Module



Damage done to the underside of the capsule upon re-entry.


Apollo fuel cell



Moon Rocks



We touched this moon rock.


Marsha found this picture humorous. She said I fit right in with the my own version of a space outfit.


She had to get funny and make me put on the space helmet. Let me tell you….it is really heavy!


Can you guess who this might be?


My favorite part was at the Johnson Space Center. The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's center for human spaceflight activities. The center consists of a complex of 100 buildings constructed on 1,620 acres.  The center, originally known as the Manned Spacecraft Center, was constructed on land donated by Rice University and opened in 1963. On February 19, 1973, the center was renamed in honor of the late U.S. president and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson. JSC is one of ten major NASA field centers.

The center's Mission Control Center has been the operational center of every American human space mission since Gemini IV. The control center manages all activity on board the spacecraft and directs all space shuttle missions. Mission Control Center was constructed in 1962.

Approximately 3,200 civil servants, including 110 astronauts, are employed at Johnson Space Center. Astronaut candidates receive training on shuttle systems and in the basic sciences which include mathematics, guidance and navigation, oceanography, orbital dynamics, astronomy, and physics. Candidates are required to complete military water survival prior to beginning their flying instruction.

Below is a working model of the International Space Station. It was HUGE! The astronauts train here before they go on their mission.




Russia’s section


Robotic arm


More International Space Station pictures.

Marsha’s favorite was the Saturn V Rocket. The first manned Saturn V sent the Apollo 8 astronauts into orbit around the Moon in December 1968. After two more missions to test the lunar landing vehicle, in July 1969 a Saturn V launched the crew of Apollo 11 to the first manned landing on the Moon. The three-stage Saturn V was taller than a 36-story building. It was the largest, most powerful rocket ever launched.



In between the three stages.


More pictures of Saturn V here.

Our friends Louise and Duane. We had a great time.


Paul and Marsha


On the way home we stopped at Sawgrass Restaurant for dinner hoping the Houston rush hour traffic would thin out. By the time we finished dinner the traffic thinned out pretty well. It was a very long day, especially since Marsha has to do all the driving and in Houston traffic to boot!

Here are some more pictures for your enjoyment.
Cockpit pictures

Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back.