Space Center Houston, the official visitor center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, is a must-visit destination for space enthusiasts of all ages. Located in Houston, Texas, this world-class facility offers an array of interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and educational programs that provide an in-depth look at space exploration, science, and technology. From the history of manned space flight to the future of human space travel, Space Center Houston is the perfect destination for those looking to embark on an out-of-this-world adventure.
History and Background
Space Center Houston opened its doors in 1992 as a nonprofit science and space learning center. The center’s mission is to inspire and engage people of all ages in the wonders of space exploration, science, and technology through immersive exhibits, attractions, and educational programs. As the official visitor center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Space Center Houston offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the past, present, and future of human space travel.
Attractions and Exhibits
Space Center Houston features a wide variety of attractions and exhibits that cater to diverse interests and age groups:
- Independence Plaza: This awe-inspiring exhibit allows visitors to explore a full-size, high-fidelity replica of the Space Shuttle Independence mounted atop the historic NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft.
- Starship Gallery: This exhibit takes visitors on a journey through the history of manned space flight, showcasing artifacts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs.
- Astronaut Gallery: This exhibit features spacesuits worn by astronauts on various missions, as well as portraits and personal stories of astronauts who have ventured into space.
- Mission Mars: This interactive exhibit provides an in-depth look at the challenges and opportunities of human exploration of Mars, including hands-on activities, virtual reality experiences, and a full-size Mars rover prototype.
- International Space Station Gallery: This exhibit offers a glimpse into the daily life and scientific research aboard the International Space Station, featuring a replica of the ISS Destiny module and a live video feed from the orbiting laboratory.
- NASA Tram Tour: This popular tour takes visitors behind the scenes at Johnson Space Center, with stops at historic Mission Control, the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, and the astronaut training facilities.
Space Center Houston is located at 1601 NASA Parkway in Houston, Texas. The center is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with extended hours during the summer and on holidays. General admission prices are $29.95 for adults, $24.95 for children (ages 4-11), and $27.95 for seniors (65+), with discounted rates available for groups and members.
Parking is available on-site for a fee, and the center is also accessible via the METRO bus system.