Since we made the trip all the way to Houston, we were absolutely going to check out NASA while we were in town. So on Wednesday, my dad took Matt and I out to NASA for the afternoon while my mom stayed home and had Adelaide all to herself.
It was spring break for the city of Houston (which, by the way, has 4x the population of Portland) and NASA was PACKED! NASA had all of these exhibits and activities to draw in families during the holiday week, so the main building for visitors was overflowing with kids and families.
Entrance to the visitor center.
Despite the crowds we did get to check out some of the exhibits.
Russian space suit (among others) on display.
The wall of mission photos.
Mock up of a shuttle cockpit you can walk through.
The coolest part of the NASA visit, by far, was the tram tour of the grounds. They had three different tour options; the pool where the astronauts train, the astronaut training center, and mission control. We chose mission control.
On the tram!
The mission control room we saw (there are several) was still in “operating” mode because the Shuttle Mission STS-133 landed less than a week before we were there. This means that the badge for the mission was still over the door (space for active missions) and none of the stations had been fully cleaned up yet because people were still doing their post-mission wrap ups. You can read more about the last flight of the Discovery on NASA’s website.
This is the large, windowless building where the mission control center can be found.
Mission Control Center
After we were given a visual tour of mission control we were taken on a short driving tour of the campus and then dropped off at the Saturn V rocket to explore until we were ready to go back to the visitor center.
Building where the Saturn V rocket resides.
This thing is ENORMOUS!
It was VERY cool to get to see NASA and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to visit while the space program is still active. For those of you who don’t know, NASA’s shuttle program is coming to an end. You can read more about it here: NASA a Countdown of Countdowns. The last scheduled shuttle launch is on June 28th, with STS-135 on the Atlantis, to deliver the last round of supplies to the international space station.
While we were at NASA all day, here’s what Grandma and Adelaide were up to!
It was a fun day for all!