“Houston, we have a problem…”

It was a very wet Monday in Galveston so I thought backtracking 30mins in the car and visiting the Nasa Space Centre near Houston was too good an opportunity to miss.  Carolyn could think of nothing more boring so while she went off on her bicycle around Galveston I spent the day at the Nasa Johnston Space Centre which acts as the control centre for all USA space flight.  They also design and test all space technology here before its launched on a rocket.

One of the first exhibits at Houston is the Boeing 747 that was modified to carry the space shuttle on its back to the launch pad and then to collect it again after it returned to earth.

The public can go inside the 747 and see many exhibits and TV documentaries on how they developed and tested that technology.

Inside some of the many buildings on a very large campus there are many displays that exhibit items from journeys to the moon including lunar vehicles, capsules, landing craft, moon rock and some material from asteroids.

There is also a life size replica of the space station that the public can walk through and is complete with mannequins going about their daily life in space such as exercising, having a meal, taking a horizontal shower or moving from one capsule to another.

There is a shuttle train that takes visitors all over the campus and into various specialised buildings.  Here is the original (and very famous) control room from which the entire Apollo program was controlled.  All the control panels currently have dust covers on them while the room is being refurbished for the 50th anniversary of the moon landings.  When the restoration is complete it will include fully working monitors at each desk and the huge floor to ceiling screens on the wall will play back the same footage as on the day.  It will be spectacular to see when completed.

This is the testing building where every single piece of technology from space suits and robots to shuttle cargo deployment is tested  before being launched.

This is a two man “RV” that will house astronauts on mars for long periods of time and transport them across the planet when away from their base station.

The last building houses the huge Saturn V heavy lifting rocket that has each stage separated with a public walkthrough so the inside workings can be seen.  It’s far larger than I had ever imagined.

It was a great way to spend a very wet day indoors and on my return to the coach I was happy to report back to Carolyn that it wasn’t boring at all!