March 29, 2017

Space Center Houston

Welcome to Space Center Houston at the Johnson Space Center.

There is a heck of a storm coming, so I decided to do the outside portion first.

I'm in the process of walking up to the top of the tower in Independence Plaza.

Almost to the top.

Made it.  Let's go check out the orbiter.

Welcome to Space Shuttle Independence.

This is a high-fidelity shuttle replica.

Looking into the cockpit of the Independence.  They used this for training purposes.

Looking into the payload bay of the shuttle.

They have a mock up of the Canadarm as well.

They have a few other mock up areas that you can explore.

Here they can learn how to go to the bathroom on the orbiter.

More mock up areas in the living quarters.

Storage area mock ups.

You can actually stand in the payload bay area - you can also see a mock up of a satellite.

Making my way down to NASA 905 now.

NASA 905 is the actual shuttle carrier that would take an orbiter from Houston back to Kennedy Space Center when needed.

It is a strange mash up of airline and cargo airplane.

Here is where the crew would sit like in a normal airliner.

This staircase goes up to the bridge.  It is off-limits unfortunately.

The rear of the airplane is more of a cargo hold.  One thing you will notice is that it is reinforced to account for the weight of the orbiter on top.

Some more of the reinforcements.  Pretty neat actually.

Here is a model of how the orbiter is put on top of NASA 905.

There are several exhibits to check out about NASA 905 in the cargo area.

This is a pressure dome at the tail of the plane.

NASA 905 and Independence are a pretty combination.

This was worth the price of admission - and that's just the start of our visit.

We are back in the main building now - this is a lunar lander.

Goddard's Liquid Fueled Rocket.

Lunar Module Cockpit Trainer.

Mercury spacecraft.

A small model of a Saturn V rocket - we'll see a real one later on today.

Apollo 17 Command Module.

A mock up of the lunar rover and a couple of moon landing suits.

Moon rocks.

Apollo fuel cell.

A model of Skylab.

This is a training mock up of Skylab.

Zero-G training.

They also had some living quarters set up.

Lots of different things in here.

Yep, they even have a shower scene.

Skylab has since been decommissioned and taken out of orbit.

Mars Curiosity Rover mock up.

A model of the International Space Station is hung over the entrance to the ISS exhibit.

 They had a pretty cool show about life in space on the ISS.

ISS bathroom.

ISS bedroom area.

Some personal artifacts from past ISS tenants.

They had a great collection of past space suits.

Apollo pressure suit.

Mission to Mars exhibit.

Mars Mission Rover.

A model of the new rocket system for the Orion missions.

They had a Mars rock that you could touch.

The kids section was themed to Angry Birds Space.

They had some fun mock up for the kids to explore up here.

The main attraction at Space Center Houston is the Tram Tour.

I am super excited to journey on to to JSC's campus.

There is a wind and cold chamber here to test aircraft and spacesuits.

Here is the liquid nitrogen tanks that they use to make things really cold.

Our first stop is the Astronaut Training Center.

They have mock ups of about every current project in here.

These are different aspects of the ISS.

Pretty impressive.

Mock up of a Russian Sojourner capsule.

A shuttle cockpit mock up that can rotate on X Y Z axis.

The black stage is a weightlessness testing area.

Orion command capsule mock up.

Mars Mission mock ups.

Robotics area.  The huge arm was a mock up for the actual arm that connected new parts to the ISS.

This is Valkyrie.  She will soon live on Mars and help build the labs before humans arrive.

Welcome to Rocket Park.

The main attraction here is an Apollo V Rocket.

This thing is huge.

Phase 3 and Phase 4

Phase 1 and Phase 2

This place is amazing.

I really enjoyed my time at Space Center Houston.  It is definitely worth a visit.