Houston's Space Center - which isn't in Houston, go figure...
01.07.2009 - 01.07.2009 97 °F
(NOTE: This entry does not actually describe something I saw or did today. I'm just testing this service out, and I grabbed a random picture to talk about. If I like the service, better stuff will come!)
Periodically, I wind up with friends or family at Space Center Houston.
For those who don't know, Space Center Houston is the public face for the Houston Space Center, NASA's complex of research, training, and building facilities south of Houston. It's a pretty neat place.
There's movies and static exhibits like a museum with replicas (and a few of the "real thing") of space capsules and other vehicles, lunar rovers, and so on. You can touch moon rock, read news clippings, and basically get an overview of the space program since its inception. There are video games - landing the shuttle, or docking with ISS, and a few other things. And some cool, interactive exhibits that are always there, and still entertain.
There's also two facility tours, where you can see things like the command center where they monitor missions (when I was last through there they were tracking the ISS), the pool where they train for spacewalks, research facilities where they are working on prototypes, and of course, Rocket Park, where you can get up close and personal with rockets from the pre-Shuttle days.
They recently (three to five years ago?) built a shed to protect one of the big rockets in Rocket Park. It was desperately needed - Houston's weather is not kind to any structure. This view is inside that building. The guy in the red shirt caught my attention - the shirt says, "It's Not Rocket Science (Oh wait, yes it is!)". What can I say? I was amused.
There are also special exhibits that come and go. A few years ago they did a robotics exhibit, and you got to play with manipulating robot arms to pick up balls and stuff like that. Way too much fun, but you had to be willing to push a kid away now and then (just saying - they don't understand taking turns - so you have to assert yourself if you want a turn).
Here's their web site: http://www.spacecenter.org/