Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston
Who hasn’t daydreamed about being an astronaut at least once? Thankfully, Space Center Houston makes it easy to learn about the great beyond. It’s the area’s No. 1 attraction for international visitors and the first Smithsonian Affiliate in the greater Houston area. The center features more than 400 space artifacts and several exhibits related to the past, present, and future of America’s human spaceflight program. It’s also home to the world’s largest collection of moon rocks and lunar samples for public view, and offers guests the opportunity to go behind the scenes to see NASA's Johnson Space Center.
By Kristin Finan, AFAR Local Expert
Houston, from Rocket Park to AmberJack
I landed in Houston, Texas, on a balmy Saturday afternoon. Friendly faces greeted me and handshakes followed. I was there on business for 5 days. On my day off, I planned a trip to the Johnson Space Center and bought my tickets online. I marveled and felt insignificant at the base of the Saturn V Rocket. I was right there with my childhood heroes and all the other stuff I loved so much and daydreamed about as kid. The food in Houston is outstanding too. Waffle house: A southern institution! The people I know who live in the South rave about this rough and tumble chain of restaurants. “How great can it be, really?!” Their waffles are the best I have ever eaten. I understand the obsession now. Niko Niko’s: This family-style restaurant has incredible Greek food, desserts and coffee. I ate at the original on 2520 Montrose. The Montrose area hosts a number of communities including artists, musicians, and LGBTs, and has thrift, vintage, and secondhand shopping stores, gay bars, and restaurants. In 2009, the American Planning Association named Montrose one of the ten "great neighborhoods" in the United States. Babins Seafood: This upscale restaurant boasts seafood caught and picked by hand, and flown up from the gulf daily. I recommend the blackened amberjack. It is simply brilliant and so very fresh. In summation, Houston was beautiful and the people kind and friendly and their food fresh and delicious. The Montrose area is a must-see, as is the NASA Space Center.
By Doug Winter
ISS Mock At NASA Johnson Space Center
Got to visit inside the ISS replica that the astronauts use for training at Johnson Space Center with astronaut Mike Fossum as my guide. Good stuff! - April 2013
"Houston, we've got a problem," is a phrase that has gone down in pop culture history. That's because any and all space flight problems—and their ultimate heroic solutions—went down at Houston Mission Control. Today, Building 30 of the Johnson Space Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was here that NASA guided nine Gemini and all the Apollo missions, including Apollo 11's Mission to the Moon. Mission Control is now part of Space Center Houston, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the US. When you stand in this remarkably contained space and think of the infinities that were discovered here, you'll understand why.