The Houston Space Center is the top tourist attraction in Houston and it is very easy to see why more schools and private visitors come here than any other tourist attraction in this great city.
President Kennedy threw down the challenge for America to reach the moon by the end of the 1960 s and the story of mankind s first steps on the moon and even further into the depths of space are preserved here at the Space Center.
From the very earliest days of man s efforts to create a propulsion vehicle that could get itself off the ground to the most advanced and dangerous efforts to send man to other planets in the solar system, the Houston Space Center is the most comprehensive display of its kind in the world with many exhibits having actually been used in space and one of the very few places in the world where you can hold an actual moon rock.
The Houston Space Center will take you on a journey through time and space as the equipment and technology that was developed since the days of Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, are preserved for posterity and your enjoyment.
It is not just the huge array of equipment that is on display here as there are numerous opportunities to see and become involved in the training programs that have been used to train and prepare astronauts for their trip into space. Now people from all walks of life and of all ages are able to experience for themselves what it takes to become an astronaut.
Becoming an astronaut is a dream many of us have had from childhood, however the reality is very different from what we imagine; training is stringent and before training can even begin there are minimum mandatory requirements in respect of education, physical fitness and mental aptitude. Less than 5 of applicants are actually passed for astronaut training but you can gain firsthand knowledge of just what it takes.
At the Houston Space Center you can experience weightlessness and the sensation of lift off from the launch pad of Cape Kennedy while talking to a real life astronaut who has ventured into space. Try your hand at landing the Space Shuttle and experience what it feels like to walk in space wearing a space suit! Get an inside look at how we are preparing for manned missions to Mars and elsewhere in the solar system too.
There is the Kids Space Place section where children can experience and interact with exhibits and explore the many different facets of space flight and exploration while living on the Space Station of commanding the Space Shuttle.
The Houston Space Center is open throughout the week with extended opening hours during the summer and some holidays so check the website at www.spacecenter.org for more information. You will find the Houston Space Center at 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston TX 77058 which is about 25 miles south of the downtown area and provides a stunning and memorable day out for you and your family.