Cool Things to See and Do at Space Center Houston

By  //  October 12, 2021

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Space Center Houston is an attraction no one should miss while visiting “Space City.” Or, if you’ve just moved into one of the houses for rent in Houston TX, it’s one of the first things you should put on your must-experience list.

Adults and children alike will be fascinated by delving into the world of space exploration at this Smithsonian affiliate that aims to foster a love of S.T.E.M. (which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math) among its visitors. It’s not just a place to see rockets. As the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center, there are many cool things to see and do here. 

Take a Tour

There are multiple tours available, with the NASA Tram Tour the most popular thing to do here, included in the price of admission. As it’s a 90-minute experience you’ll want to plan your time around it to be sure you can take in the other attractions and exhibits. You’ll get an insider’s look at Rocket Park, home to the three only remaining Saturn V rockets, along with others that have propelled space exploration. 

It’s also possible to tour the facility where NASA astronauts train for their missions while engineers and scientists develop space exploration vehicles for the next generation.

The Mission Control Center tour will reveal the control center from which NASA led both the Apollo and Gemini Missions, including the first lunar landing and early space shuttle missions. 

Starship Gallery

This facility provides an up-close look at some incredible artifacts with multiple national treasures that trace the progression of space exploration. You can touch a moon rock, step into the Skylab-1G Trainer where astronauts initially trained for life in space, and see the Apollo 17 Command Module from the most recent mission to the moon.

Astronaut Gallery

Discover one of the most comprehensive collections of spacesuits and astronaut apparel in this gallery. It includes spacesuits that have been used for spacewalks on the moon, training flights, and more.

You’ll witness the very suit that Pete Conrad wore during the Apollo 12 mission which he commanded and become the third person to walk on the moon, the inflight coveralls Sally Ride wore, and Michael Collins’ isolation garment, worn on his return to the Earth following the Apollo 11 Mission, among many other impressive pieces.

Independence Plaza

You can go inside a replica shuttle of the Independence, which sits atop the original, historic NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft, and explore the massive plane. It’s the only one of its kind in the world mounted on an SCA, and the only one on Earth where the public can enter both. 

Mission Mars

One of the newest exhibits, this one is truly not-to-be-missed, taking visitors through NASA’s voyage to Mars. It starts with a look at how humans’ views of the planet have changed over the decades and includes the chance to climb into a simulated Orion capsule, feeling the texture of rock cliffs inspired by Mars. Take in a virtual Martian sunset and even touch an actual piece of Mars.

There’s also an outstanding collection of other rare meteorites and you’ll learn about the goals NASA has for exploring Mars as well as what it might teach us about the universe and our own planet.