Space Center Houston serves as the official visitor's center for NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. It was named a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum in 2014. NASA owns the organization and it is managed by Manned Spaceflight Education Foundation (501(c)(3)). The Johnson Space Center houses Mission Control and astronaut training.
The center replaced the Johnson Space Center Building 2 Visitor Center. It opened in 1992. The museum covers 250,000 square feet (23,000m2) and features 400 space artifacts, as well as the Mercury 9, Gemini 5, Apollo 17 and Mercury 9 space capsules. There are also permanent and moving exhibits and theaters that focus on the history and development of human spaceflight. The center also hosts STEM programming for all ages.
Apollo 17's Command module America flew Gene Cernan and Ronald Evans to the Moon with Harrison Schmitt and five mice in NASA's last crewed lunar mission, 1971.
The Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia was displayed at the Space Center during a commemorative tour in 2017.
The education department at Space Center Houston of the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation is one of the most prominent science-education resources in the country. These programs are based upon national science standards and include interactive science, technology engineering and math activities that inspire learning and help develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills for all ages, particularly in relation to human spaceflight and exploration. These programs include:
The Gemini 5 space capsule that carried Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad into low Earth orbit in 1965.
A tram tour that takes the public to the Johnson Space Center is open to the public. It stops at building 30, which is the location of the Historic Mission Operations Control Room 2 (and the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center), building 9, which is the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, and Rocket Park with a restored Saturn V Rocket. Additional costs apply for a guided tour of five hours that includes stops at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab and the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, as well as the International Space Station Museum.
NASA helped develop the exhibit Mission Mars, which opened in January 2017. It highlights the work NASA is doing to plan for future Mars travel. Mission Mars is a series of activities that takes visitors to Mars. These include a virtual reality wall, weather forecasts, and a meteorite that guests can touch. Visitors can also view a full-sized Orion linkresearch capsule, try an Orion spacecraft simulator, and see the next generation Mars rovers.
Only the JSC Saturn V rocket is composed of segments designed for flight out of the three remaining Saturn V rockets. This Saturn V rocket's first stage is originally from SA-514, which was originally intended for the cancelled Apollo 19. The second stage is from SA-515, which was originally intended for Apollo 20. The third stage is from SA-513. It was not used after it was replaced with the Skylab workshop. SA-513 was originally intended for the cancelled Apollo 18. The rest of the rocket was used by Skylab. The rocket is completed by the Apollo Command/Service Module CSM-115a, which was intended for Apollo 19.
From 1977 to 2004, the Saturn V, which was on loan from Smithsonian, was displayed at the Johnson Space Center's main entrance. The restoration was funded by Conservation Solutions of Washington DC, with oversight by Smithsonian.Houston TX The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
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