A Stellar Day Trip: Visiting Space Center Houston
The last time I went to Space Center Houston I was around seven years old and I remember it being enormous. I remember dozens of interactive exhibits and old astronaut suits and equipment on display. But most of all, I remember getting into the space simulator with my dad and feeling delightfully terrified. I also know from personal experience and the amount of times my dad flipped us upsidedown that the space simulator is amusing for all ages. It was fun to recently relive my childhood experience. Last week, I went to visit the center with my friend Ruth Farmer, who is currently attending Texas A&M University and will be a junior this fall.
The space simulator that I remember so vividly allows visitors to experience first-hand what it is like to pilot a spacecraft. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it. There is a separate fee of $7 in addition to the regular admission fee, but the experience is worth it. While you’re in the simulator, there are cameras recording you, which are then shown to the general public outside. This provides great entertainment for those who are awaiting their turn.
Space Center Houston is the official visitor center of NASA and right next to the visitor center is the Johnson Space Center. This is home to the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center, which manages all flight control for manned space missions. The Johnson Space Center is the main center for the International Space Station and houses the NASA Astronaut Corps where astronauts are selected and then trained.
At Space Center Houston, there are many interesting exhibits, tours and video documentaries suitable for all ages. I found the summer exhibit, Science Fiction, Science Future, and the Mission Mars exhibit particularly interesting. The summer exhibit takes around an hour and presents the interesting concept of science fiction ideas and theories becoming future reality. The Mission Mars exhibit takes around 45 minutes and allows you to experience a Martian sunset, touch a rock from Mars, understand climate and landscape on Mars, test out gravity differences and learn about space crops.
Two of Space Center Houston’s original exhibits are the Astronaut Gallery and the International Space Station Gallery. The Astronaut Gallery takes around 30 minutes and showcases a collection of actual space suits worn by men and women of space exploration, starting from those worn by the very first astronauts, to those worn by astronauts today. The International Space Station exhibit provides a look inside the space station: unique technologies on the ISS, new artifacts, robotic interactive attractions and informative video documentaries about the ISS.
For the younger kids, the Kids Space Place is perfect. There are many different attractions including a “Mars Rover,” which children can operate themselves using a remote video controller.
The summer exhibit is open until Sept. 4, 2017 so be sure to check it out before it closes. General admission tickets are $29.95 for adults and $24.95 for children ages 4-11. You can find a map and guide to Space Center Houston here. If you’d like to learn more about the different exhibits click here.
Want more buzz like this? Sign up for our Morning Buzz emails.
To leave a comment, please log in or create an account with The Buzz Magazines, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Or you may post as a guest.