With more than 400 things to see and do, Space Center Houston brings the rich history and sparkling future of human space exploration to life.
Among Houston’s many assets – a vibrant downtown set on Galveston Bay, loads of culture and locals who offer as much friendly Southwestern charm as they do hip urban sass – there is its long history as NASA’s home to human space flight operations. Drawing more than 1 million space-lovers every year, Space Center Houston is the city’s top destination for international visitors and the Official Visitor Center for NASA Johnson Space Center. Through its extensive educational programs, year-round hands-on exhibits and artifacts, visitors can see The Real Thing at Space Center Houston. Imagine seeing real flown spacecraft, meeting Robonauts and even touching a moon rock (one of only eight lunar touchstones in the world). Consider this nonprofit science and space museum your gateway to out-of-this-world exploration.
Start with the NASA Tram Tour, the only way the general public can visit Johnson Space Center. As the center’s most popular attraction, the tour is included with the price of admission and takes guests to see the enormous Saturn V rocket at Rocket Park as well as across the 650-hectare campus. See more of this one-of-a-kind working facility and go behind-the-scenes aboard the Level 9 VIP tour, a five-hour tour of Historic Mission Control, International Space Station Mission Control and a rare chance to see where the astronauts train.
Taking the NASA Tram Tour, a behind-the-scenes experience included in the cost of admission
Aircraft to Astronauts
It’s hard to top what you’ll see at Space Center Houston. Its home to the international landmark Independence Plaza, where visitors enter both the original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft and a shuttle replica mounted on top. Enter Starship Gallery to see the Apollo 17 capsule used in the last lunar landing, spacesuits, moon rocks and more. Among the lunar samples and flown spacecraft, you can walk inside the Skylab Trainer and see where astronauts trained to live and work in space. And yes, you are clear to have Lunch with an Astronaut (and stop by the gallery to see portraits of astronauts from every crewed mission). Visit on a Friday for Meet an Astronaut to hear an informative astronaut talk and score an autograph.
All smiles at Lunch with an Astronaut
Interactive Exhibits and Robust Educational Programs
Offering three major new exhibits each year, Space Center Houston celebrates its 25th anniversary with “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission” through 2018 which showcases the historic Apollo 11 command module. Take advantage of the center’s educational programs like Space Center U, a weeklong study of all-things STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Step into Mission Mars, an immersive exhibit that gives visitors a chance to look inside an Orion spacecraft research model. Board an Orion simulator to get a sense of what life is really like on the red planet. Hear live NASA briefings, catch a thrilling show in one of the largest 4K theaters in Texas or stick around for a science presentation.
Checking out exhibits with the whole family at Space Center Houston
Travel to Houston, Texas from international destinations via George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) or William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). Space Center Houston is an hour or less from both and accessible via bus, taxi or car.