Our Story

Welcome to our site! We are Joanne & Steve. After 20+ years working for a city school department and police department, we sold almost everything, bought an RV, and started living on the road with our three children. Joanne homeschools and works online.
What we have chosen is to live life as unencumbered as we possibly can and to spend time with our family, for our family, and as a family.
This website is a record of our travels. But, we also hope to educate, entertain, and inform others about RVing, roadschooling, and the great places we visit in this country.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

NASA: Space Center Houston

We paid a visit to NASA at Space Center Houston.  We purchased our tickets online thus obtaining the $5.00 discount per ticket.  (With, of course a $1.50 fee for the convenience of buying online).  Our total for five was $79.25.

The center opens at 10:00am.  Get there when it opens.  Right behind us were three school buses.

The Space Center's newest attraction is Angry Birds Space.  This of course is the first thing the kids will want to do.  It's basically a McDonald's Play-place-ish type of attraction.  There is a younger area for children under 4 and a more elaborate side for children over age 4 but under 58".  Enjoyable for the kids and a good place to let them shake off some sillies.

The very NEXT thing you need to do is hop onto the Tram tour.  Save a good 2 hours for this ride.

The tram takes you throughout the NASA Johnson Space Center complex to three main buildings, which can change depending on the day.  We visited Mission Control where the Apollo missions were conducted.

Apollo Era Mission Control.  Notice the Red Rotary Phone.  This wasn't a direct line to Batman.
 It was however a direct line to the Department of Defense.

Apollo Era Mission Control: the mission patches are displayed on the right side of the room.

The Mission Patches for Apollo 1 and the Challenger Space Shuttle mission (which were both controlled from this room) will forever  remain on the left side of the room.  These missions are still active in the eyes of NASA.  

The next building was the Space Station Mockup and Training Facility, or building 9, a training center for astronauts.  Here we saw the Robonauts, the ISS (International Space Station) training pods, and the Orion mockup.

The Orion Space Capsule was created to allow humans to travel  farther into the solar system than they've ever been before.  Orion will take its passengers to the moon, asteroids, and Mars.  Orion's test launch will be in 2014.
Save up to buy your tickets!

Robonaut, a dexterous humanoid robot, created to assist astronauts and go where it is too dangerous for the astronauts to venture.  There are currently 4 Robonauts, with more in the works.

We also visited the home of the Saturn V rocket at Rocket Park. 

The Saturn V rocket, 363 feet tall,  was a Heavy Lift vehicle...very powerful, and used in the Apollo program in the 1960's and 1970's,  and used to launch the Skylab space station.

Third Stage 
The Apollo Command Module, LES (Launch Escape System), and Tower Jettison Motor

First, Second, and Third Stages

F-1 Engines

The Starship Gallery is a large part of the Space Center.  

Lunar Rover
Command Module
Space Shuttle
Touching the Moon Rock

Not having been to Kennedy Space Center in Florida, we cannot compare the two.  But, we enjoyed the visit to Johnson Space Center.  We went on a Tuesday when school was in session, so, other than the field trip buses, which didn't interfere with our visit at all, we encountered few children, and only a small percentage of adults.  We had no wait for shows.  We highly recommend a visit if you are in the area.  If you plan to go more than once, the year-long pass is only sightly more than the day pass.

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