Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston information
Dream of a moon landing? You can hardly get closer than at the official visitor center and theme park–esque museum of the National Air & Space Admistration's (NASA) Johnson Space Center. The 90-minute tram tour of the center itself includes the historic Mission Control (you know, the ‘Houston’ as in the Apollo 13 transmission, ‘Houston, we have a problem.’).
While manned US space missions such as the Apollo and shuttle programs have their high-profile launches from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the planning and most of the training happens here. When the Johnson Space Center first opened with the Mercury Missions in 1961, it helped put Houston on the map. Today it's one of the town's biggest tourist attractions.
Interactive exhibits let you try your hand at picking up an object in space, landing a space shuttle, and experiencing 3Gs in a gyroscope. Be sure to enter and watch the short theater films, because you exit past exhibits. For a more in-depth experience, reserve ahead to lunch with an astronaut (noon Fridays, adult/child $50/30) or to take a Level 9 Tour (11:45am daily, tour $90) that gets you behind the behind-the-scenes at the center.