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The Houston Space Center
by Wayne Gunnstone

If you are a space exploration buff, a visit to the Houston Space Center is essential for you. Even if you do not harbor that much of interest in space exploration but happen to be in the neighborhood, just take your family to the Space Center, it is worth a visit. It may inspire your kid to take up the profession when he or she grows up. Houston Space Center bundles learning and fun and is an exciting place for everyone- whether you want to inspire your child to a career in space exploration, or are just a lover of American History, space or science.

The Houston Space Center offers a learning experience for both kids and adults alike. Children of all ages will find something to learn and explore space in Kids Space Place made for the budding astronauts. They will enjoy tons of hands-on activities just for kids, while they learn about space, science, and the importance of space exploration.

All ages of visitors are sure to love the exclusive behind the scenes peek at the space center on the NASA tram tour. See everything the Johnson Space Center has to offer, including the historic mission control that guided the early space exploration programs of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. Also, get a peek at Hanger X and astronaut training facilities. Who knows, you might even get a glimpse of actual astronauts training for their missions!

The Astronaut Gallery at the Space Center gives loads of information on the men and women astronauts who have donned the space suits. Here you would find portraits of astronauts, space suits and a variety of memorabilia. Memorial of astronauts killed in training and actual missions like Apollo One, Challenger, and Columbia is not to be missed.

The Feel of Space actually gives you the feel of what it would be like to live, sleep, and work in space. Through this interactive presentation you can see how the astronauts live while in outer space, while a Mission Briefing Officer tells you secrets and answers any questions. You can experience landing an orbiter, exploring the shuttle, or even retrieving a wayward satellite!

A visit to the Space Center theatre would show you many life size pictures related to space exploration. You can see President Kennedy's resolve to put a man on the moon to Neil Armstrong's first walk on the moon. The screen is five-storey large, and you can see the history of space exploration and its future at one go.

Tailor-made movies showcasing different events and experiences cater to kids and adults alike. The Blast Off Theater shows the meticulous procedure put into place when a space shuttle leaves for the International Space Station. It has many actual behind the scenes activities, and amply shows the activities and emotions in mission control and mission status center.

The Houston Space Center is not to be missed if you are in its neighborhood. Shop at the Space Trader and purchase some mementoes of your trip for fond memories for you and your family. You would be amazed at what you can buy at the Space Trader-astronaut ice-cream, reproductions of newspapers commemorating important events in space explorations like landing on the moon-just to name a few! School groups and family all would find the visit a great fun-filled learning experience. Just 25 miles south of Houston, the Houston Space Center is waiting to be explored by you and your family.

Wayne Gunnstone is the chief editor for F houston, a fantastic resource for information about houston. For more articles on houston why not visit: http://www.fdhouston.com/articles

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