Space Center Houston is one of the great places to visit in the country if you’re a fan of space and science. It is located near Houston, Texas, one of the biggest cities in the United States. Space Center Houston’s proximity to Houston is important to note because Houston is known as Space City, USA (think “Houston, we have a problem” fame), and stands as a behemoth in many industries, and has made a name for itself as one of the premier destinations not just in Texas but on an international level. The city serves as a host to an incredibly diverse population.
If you’re a fan of the space program and are on the edge of your seat when it comes to the wonder of space in general, Space Center Houston is your ultimate destination. It doesn’t get much cooler than this, and since it’s opening in 1992, over 10,000,000 guests (this is a conservative figure) would probably concur that Space Center Houston is the place to go for getting up close and personal with the exploration of space by humans, and in many ways, being at the gateway to the universe while still being here on Earth.
After checking out Space Center Houston myself, I can tell you that I learned quite a bit about this place. Here are some of the highlights:
- There is a celebration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education programs, which brings in hundreds of thousands of students & teachers every year.
- Per a 2016 study, the center brings in over $70,000,000 to the area, which means that the area is truly connected to the center on an important civic level.
- You can meet an honest-to-goodness astronaut every Friday and talk to them about what their experience as a space traveler has been like. The best part – such a treat comes free with admission! Don’t forget to ask about the “Lunch with An Astronaut” experience.
- Space Center Houston maintains an interior temperature of 60 degrees, which means that if you’re traveling with kids or anyone who gets a chill easily, you might want to have a light sweater or long-sleeve shirt available.
- If you’ve ever wondered about the plane that was part of the various shuttles missions in the Space Program, you can actually check out NASA 905, a 747 that was used in the majority of ferry flights.
- I learned about a pioneer in the space program by the name of Robert Henry Lawrence. In June 1967, he became the first black astronaut when he was selected by the Air Force as part of the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program. He was cited as helping develop a steep-descent glide technique became part of the shuttle landing technique known as ‘flare’.
Space Center Houston serves as the Official Visitor Center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center and has done so for the last quarter of a century (established in 1992). Before visiting, I figured I’d learn a thing or two, but after I left, I realized that I could have spent a lifetime in there trying to take in all that the center offered. There’s no question about it – you have to check it out yourself.