Places & Faces
Space Center Houston: It’s Out of This World
7/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Space Center Houston

A new era of human space flight began on May 30 of this year, as U.S. astronauts once again launched a rocket from American soil to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket for an extended stay at the space station—and lifted the hearts of a nation at a time when it was much needed. 

With a renewed interest in space exploration, we are fortunate to have Space Center Houston, the official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center, just a few hours west of Southwest Louisiana.

Like all tourist attractions across the nation, it had been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Texas eases restrictions, the Center has re-opened for the general public as of July 1.

Following state, local and CDC guidelines, the Center assures their visitors that additional health and safety measures will be in place. Guests must book a timed admission ticket for entry to the museum in advance, and daily capacity will be limited. New protocols include social distancing practices, self-scan turnstiles, sanitizing stations, plexiglass shields at ticket counters, and a one-directional experience through the galleries. Guests and employees are asked to wear face masks. 


The newest permanent exhibit is the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.  It’s displayed outside the center, and you can walk around and underneath the first-stage booster that spans more than 156 feet. It is the only Falcon 9 on public display outside of SpaceX’s headquarters, and is the same type of rocket that launched NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft on May 30. 

You can also tour the spacious Independence Plaza exhibit, where you can walk inside a shuttle replica mounted on top of the historic shuttle carrier aircraft NASA 905.

The center plans to reopen with one of its most popular experiences, the NASA Tram Tour. In addition to a timed admission ticket, you can reserve a free virtual boarding pass to book a time to experience the tram. It takes guests to the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, where astronauts train for current missions, and Rocket Park, where an actual Apollo Saturn V rocket is on display. Don’t miss it!

Following current state guidelines, the theaters will be temporarily closed. But new live shows in open spaces have been added.

Educational Complex and Space Museum

The Center features more than 400 space artifacts, permanent and traveling exhibits, and theaters related to America’s human space-flight program – all for one admission price. It has the world’s largest collection of moon rocks and lunar samples for public view.

Note: All Space Center Houston experiences are subject to change while the Center continues to monitor state and local health and safety guidelines for reopening. 

Space Center Houston: 1601 NASA Pkwy, Houston 77058. (281) 244-2100.

Ticket information: Kids three and younger get in free; ages four to eleven, $24.95; adults, $29.95; seniors (65+), $27.95. Annual memberships are available.

Posted by: Stefanie Powers | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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