Space Center Houston - March 1st, 2018

Finally visit Space Center Houston after the addition of a new attraction

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and Concilation are excellent additions

Behold!   Columbia!   The command module for the Apollo 11 mission

Columbia is on a 2 year field trip across the country w/Houston its 1st stop

Columbia will move on to St. Louis, Pittsburg & Seattle the next 18 months

Inside view of Columbia's hatch door

Outside view of Columbia's hatch door

Saturn V's massive F1 engine's injector plate

Actual Apollo 11 injector plate recovered from the ocean floor in 2013

The ISS is a permanent display within the SCH Main Plaza

The next generation Orion Capsule is on display

Orion has more spacious room for four astronauts

Space Launch System (SLS) stack using Shuttle SRBs and External Tanks

Five upgraded shuttle engines will propel the SLS external tank

Diagram of the next generation Orion Capsule

Kid Zone features a horizontal shuttle and launch pad structure

The 1st production, man-rated lunar module LTA-8 on display

Launch simulation rides have kids lining up for a turn

Visit the Astronaut Gallery to see Ed White perform a Gemini spacewalk

John Young's ejection suit for the STS-1 first shuttle flight

Kathryn Sullivan's EMU for the first woman's space walk in 1984

Judy Resnik's T-38 flightsuit

STS-26 Return to Flight Pilot Dick Covey's Hawaiian shirt

Sally Ride's in-orbit spacesuit for the 1984 STS-41G mission

RX-5 prototype spacesuit was too bulky to take on Apollo

Deke Slayton's space suit for the 1975 Apollo Soyuz Test Project

Wally Schirra's 1968 Apollo 7 spacesuit

Pete Conrad's moonwalk suit for the 1969 Apollo 12 mission

Mike Collins' Biological Isolation Garment worn after Apollo 11 splashdown

Paul Weitz' Liquid Cooling Garment for his Skylab repair EVA

Apollo Spacecraft artifacts including the CSM to LEM docking beacon, flashlight, EVA glove, tool kit and 56Kb of computer memory

Prototype Manned Maneuvering Unit tested onboard Skylab 3

Fred Haise's blue pressure suit as backup crew for Apollo 16

Outer layer for Apollo spacesuits which covers the pressure suit

Scott Kelly's suits for his year long stay on the ISS, 2015-16

Shuttle model with Texas A&M's Mike Fossum during STS-121

STS-129's Randy Bresnik became a dad while on the ISS in 2009

Zero-G space toilet . . . AKA shopvac set at 5% power

ISS Crew Quarters with personal belongings and sleep station

Enter the Starship Gallery after watching the Destiny Theater movie

Find Gordon Cooper's Faith 7 Mercury Spacecraft

The final Mercury program flight occurred May 15-16, 1963

Cooper orbited the earth 22 times over 34 hours in space

Next see the scalded heat shield of Gemini 5

Gordon Cooper & Pete Conrad spent almost 8 days in space in 1965

The mission lasted the length of an Apollo moon landing mission

Think Gene Cernan's Gemini 9 EVA spacewalk is represented here

And on permanent display, Apollo 17's command module, America

America brought Cernan, Evans, & Schmitt home from the moon

The final Apollo trip to the moon splashed down on December 11, 1972

America orbited the moon 75 times over six days

Geologist Schmitt and last man Cernan spent 22 hours on the surface

Three slightly used LRVs await mans next arrival to the lunar surface

Four lunar rock samples on display near the America capsule

The lunar rock sample available for the public to touch

Understanding the composition and mineral breakdown of lunar soil

Model of the next Apollo Command Module mission usage, Skylab

Skylab 3's Alan Bean does gymnastics near the Saturn Workshop airlock

Skylab 3's Jack Lousma takes a zero-G shower onboard Skylab

Skylab 3's Owen Garriot enjoys a meal in the station's wardroom

Garriot's Apollo Telescope Mount EVA depicted above 1st Gen Robonaut

Apollo Command Module linking up with the Skylab

Stafford in the Mockup Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Docking Module

Space shuttle wind tunnel model on display near the Skylab trainer

Space Shuttle ejection seat available on its first 4 flights

1965 Mission Control Console hardwired for each mission, retired in 1996

Space Shuttle Astronaut launch and entry suits

15 foot capture bar that was unable to corral the Intelsat 603

Find the entrance to the new Indepence Plaza with SCA 905 & Concilation

Reminscent to when 905 stopped withEndeavour on the way to California

Do get to get a little closer to 905 than back in September 2012

The Orbiter Access Arm is now on display at SCH

Took this walkway before to visit Discovery on the pad in 2005

Inside the "White Room" now protected by glass

Right side did not have a video monitor twelve years ago

Many astronauts climbed through this opening on the way to space

Take the elevator to the 4th level to enter the space shuttle

Look down on the 747's starboard wing and outer engine

Great view of shuttle on top of SCA with JSC in the background

Overlook the cockpit windows toward Building 1

Realist tiles among the not so much Reaction Control System thrusters

Look toward the entrance of Space Center Houston & Independence Plaza

The same faux Intelsat in the shuttle payload when it was in Florida

Shuttle avionic displays were upgraded for the Independence display

Exit the shuttle and prepare to walk down a level

Descend to level 3 and look straight at shuttle wing leading edge

Look down at the Orbiter Access Arm and White Room

Step into the shuttle payload bay and view the Intelsat at ground level

Check out the shuttle airlock hatch opposite the Intelsat

Now at Level 2 and view all the missions 905 completed

Step inside the SCA for the first time and find 6 passenger seats

Displays line the walls of the stripped out 747

Access to the cockpit is restricted for now

Lessons learned: Commit to a culture that encourages diverse opinions

Kids lower a shuttle on the back of the SCA

How the 747 was stripped for flight and reinforced with several bulkheads

One of the 3 bulkheads added to support the weight of the space shuttle

Finally make our way to the exit at the rear of the aircraft

Check out the staggered landing gear once back on the ground

Used alot of tires landing with this heavy load over the years

Look up at one of the three supports that hold the shuttle to the SCA

View the three levels of access to the shuttle and SCA

Walk around the stack for views from the port side

Capture the tail number, additional vertical stabilizer & bathrooms

One more shot of the shuttle before heading to the JSC Tram

Take the tram to B30 Mission control Center (MCC)

I walked this way toward my office in MCC twenty plus years ago

Apollo Mission Control Center is a National Historic Landmark

Step inside the VIP Visitor viewing area for history talk on the MCC

The door to my office in the RaPID Lab across the hall

The consoles are being refurbished for the 50th Apollo 11 anniversary

Apollo 17 flag brought back from the moon, Apollo 13 flag was left instead

View of the VIP Visitor's room once most the tour heads back down

See a lonesome Mercury capsule behind Building 56 on the drive to to the Building 9 Mockup Facility

Enter the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility on the Space Station side

All the different space station modules are neatly labeled

The Russian Zarya module has all the ISS mission patches displayed

Now far enough along to get a wide angle view of ISS

Layout of the SVMG with ISS, right most Shuttle trainer, and robotics technology left; note that two shuttle trainers are now removed

The first ISS module Zvezda and a Soyuz capsule trainer

Shuttle trainers will eventually be moved to museums to make more space

Pass by the final ISS trainers at the facility halfway point

Now come to the Orion next generation capsule mockup area

Two Orion capsule mockups are in the facility

View both Orions & 6 Degrees of Freedom Dynamic Test System on the left

Behold, the Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System (SDTS)

Lunar/Mars Rovers are tested where the larger Shuttle mockup once stood

Wheeled and spider-legged robotics are tested down below

The Space Station Arm mockup with view back of of rovers, SDTS & Orions

Next Gen Robonauts are being outfitted with legs

ARGOS is the Active Response Gravity Off-load System

Final view of two more Robonauts & then depart B9 Mockup Facility

Head to Rocket Park and stop beside the Longhorn Facility

Space Center Houston with the SCA/Shuttle display lies beyond the Longhorn Facility and across Saturn Lane

Walk towards the Saturn V building nicely painted with hints of inside

First is Little Joe II, launched from 1963-1966 at White Sands

A Mercury Redstone (MR) with a Saturn V F1 engine are to the right

Little Joe tested the Apollo Capsule launch escape system

Six MRs were launched, 3 empty, Ham, Alan Shepard & Gus Grissom

Five S-II engines propelled the Saturn V second stage to earth orbit

Four fins of Little Joe inspired the name, slang for a craps roll of 4

Step inside the Saturn V building & feast upon the 5 F1 1st stage engines

Recall the Apollo 11 F1 engine injector plate shown at the top of this album

So much power is so little a space!

Look toward the top of the stack down the length of the building

The five S-II engines that propel the second stage to earth orbit

Single S-II engine on the 3rd stage sends the vehicle to the moon

The 2nd stage (left) and 3rd stage (right)

Looking down the stack as the tour ends and guests return to the tram

Capture the Command and Service Modules with cowling over the LEM

Nixon canceled Apollo 18 to have more fun in Vietnam

Tour ends back at SCH at the Apollo CSM playground - FUN!