Let's just say for the record that I hope I never have to leave planet Earth. Ever. I don't even really like getting in planes that somehow magically leave the ground and hurtle us through the air. And don't even get me started on elevators.... But I am fascinated by all things space travel. And I can remember watching Apollo 13 for the first time, as Tom Hanks and whoever the other two actors were, fought to get back to Earth with limited resources and things going wrong around every corner. The famous line, "Houston, we have a problem." is ingrained in the ethos of my movie trivia memory.
So when we drove through Houston, we stopped by the Johnson Space Center. We caught one of the last trams of the day (and ended up in row 13!!!) that takes you all over the grounds, walks you into several buildings (like where the astronauts train on replica space equipment and they are building robots....isn't this how those sci fi robot takeover movies start?), and gives a ton of information on NASA's past and what the future of space travel holds... Mars by 2035????
I was most excited to see the original mission control center from the 1960's. When mission control was eventually moved downstairs, all the original equipment was found and placed back within the room, preserving a unique perspective on time and technology. There are few times where life offers us a chance to "time travel" and staring into those 1960's monitors.....whew. They didn't have computers or even the use of electronic calculators and we launched people off of our safe, gravity sourced for a reason planet into space!!
The tour lasted about an hour and a half leaving us a brief 20 minutes to look around the rest of the museum. There were a ton of kid friendly activities including an Angry Birds Outer Space area, but we made sure to tour the replica plane and space shuttle located outside. Mad props to the pilots confident enough to fly this thing!!
And of course, we made time to touch a piece of the moon. Very, very smooth. Since ya know, thousands of other people have touched it before us. We picked up postcards just as the museum was closing and made our way out of town to sleep in San Antonio and make a fresh start at the Alamo!!