Because Todd is going through the Academy, we were not able to schedule a vacation this summer. We promised each other a long time ago that every summer we would take a vacation. Both of us grew up on softball and baseball fields during summer time and neither of our families did the vacationing thing because THAT was our vacations. Traveling….playing ball….traveling….playing ball….you get it…
Well, after we went on our honeymoon to Maui, the next summer we went to Vegas…..so good so far….until this little hang up. So I scheduled a “little one”
We left Friday morning and went to NASA! Yes the nerds were coming out in both of us. Let me just tell you….I wanted to go to Space Camp something fierce when I was young. This is about the best alternative.
We bought the LEVEL 9 Tour tickets on line through John Space Center website. Around 80 bucks a person. WORTH EVERY STINKING PENNY! We traveled in a van around NASA with 10 other people on the tour. We were not aloud to use flash so bare with my pics….I tried to be as steady as possible! Here are some pics below….
This was the Visitor entrance to the JSC. Lots of fun exciting things to do for kids there, but don’t limit yourself to those things. Go big or go home in this trip. I’ll just take you to the good stuff…..
Above is the Neutral Buoyancy Lab where the Astronauts were training that day on the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. Each Astronaut has 5 divers with them at all times. To give you a perspective, this pool is 40 feet deep and two football fields long. It has a life size replica of the Space Station and Telescope in in with lots of room to spare. VERY COOL!
Here is a pic of a pic from underneath the water! Just to give you some perspective.
This was the Mission Control room that all Shuttle Missions are worked out of! While we were there, they were training to dock the shuttle to the space station…..Another thing….this place is SMALL. I thought from watching it on TV that this room was HUGE. Nope! It’s an 8th of you think it is in your mind. They said that when the Russians built their mission control room, it was 10 times the size of this one. Because they had been seeing it on TV from a fish-eye lens that we had seen it on tv with! So when they came to visit, our guys took them on a tour of Mission Control and they thought us Americans were playing a joke on them when they brought them into the room! Funny!
Above is the International Space Station Mission Control Room. While we were there you could see the American working on something on the far right screen. Right now there is one American and two Russians there.
Above has to be our favorite stop. This is the Apollo Mission Control Room. This was absolutely amazing to be able to step foot into this room. All Apollo Missions were control from here. In the picture above with Todd and I, there is a speaker on the control panel. That is were the the world heard “Houston the Eagle has landed!” and “Houston, we have a problem!” We were literally sitting in History. Our tour guide told us that now days we have more technology under the hood of our cars than in this whole room. And we landed on the moon with that!?!?!?! Amazing!
This is the mock shuttle that they use to do their training in. This room was huge and it had all kinds of training mock ups in there. Tid bit of information. The shuttles will be retired by 2010. NASA will go back to using a similar version of a rocket that they used for the Apollo missions, with some enhancements of course. Once we are all moved into the Space Station, we don’t need a truck to move stuff up there. So we are using a car. Does that make sense?
The new car….behind this pic is the mock up module that can hold seven astronauts. Pretty cool!
This is a door. A door?!!?!? to what you might ask…..too complicated to explain….but it’s a door to a very big chamber that the whole shuttle can fit in. Tests for extreme heat and cold…blah blah blah….YES it’s a door!
This is the Saturn V rocket, used to get the Apollo missions up there. Holy moly this was big….they built the building around this sucker.
And this concludes your NASA tour. Please exit the building at your nearest convenience! Thanks for attending!
We stayed in Kemah on Friday night and then on Saturday drove up to Houston to stay and go to the Astros game. Here are some random pics. Let me just say our seats were wonderful!