Thursday, December 6, 2012

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Houston Space Center

Copyright 2012, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Man and I have visited the United States Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville Alabama, and, the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida (no report of our visit there online).  (And, I note, with some humor that I post lots more photos now than I did of the Huntsville visit, of course, back then I was connecting to the internet with a phone cord in laundry rooms of campgrounds by dialing in to AOL!)

One of my bucket list items for THE Tour, THE Encore' was to visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston.  So, on November 17, 2012, Man and I, along with friends J & D, drove to the Space Center and became overwhelmed.  The size of the program, the obstacles, the size of the equipment, befuddles the mind.

Of course, there is a shuttle on display outside:

First up was the NASA Tram Tour, first stop was the Christopher C. Kraft, Jr. Mission Control Center, yes indeedy, it still looks pretty much the same as what you see on the telie, lots of work stations with tons of electronics.  Next was a stop at the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.  We had difficulty hearing the tour guide at this stop, the microphone was non-functional in 2 of the 3 areas he spoke in.  That was a bit of disappointment of course, but, then, I probably would not remember any of it, nor understand most of it anyway, so, let the photos suffice:

The helmet visors are coated with gold, which filters out the sun's harmful rays for the utmost protection.

Believe these are test vehicles for moon or Mars walks.

Next stop was a display of HUGE, and I mean HUGE rockets.  What we saw was a lot of left over parts organized and put together so we could see what they were like.  Did I say they were HUGE???

Here I tried to capture the size by taking a panoramic photo, I think I failed!  LOL

Back in the main building we grabbed some lunch at the Zero G Dinner, saw several movies and examined the many wonderful exhibits.  I always enjoy seeing the mock ups of the astronauts during a space walk or wearing their protective clothing:

This recreation of the moon walk (see earth in the background?) and the buggy was well done:

Impressive equipment, even though I have little true understanding, I am amazed.

There were so many exhibits that we did not get into all of them, you could view Moon rocks and soil, they had examples of living in space shuttles and other ships, sleeping beds, exercise areas.  More than a mind can take in.  The food served in the Zero G Dinner was pretty tasty, and some of it was even healthy.  We had issues with the sound systems, at times our old ears either could not hear the speakers or the sound was overwhelmingly loud.  The gifts in the gift shop were in the most part from China, which was disappointing.  But, overall I would say that we all enjoyed the visit, learned much, (and forgot almost as much!  LOL).  Would not have missed it!


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