Visiting the Johnson Space Center completes a trifecta for me: I’ve now been to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Marshall Space Center in Huntsville AL, and now Johnson in Houston.
Everyone beyond a particular age remembers watching space flights on TV and hearing the astronaut conversations with “Houston”.
Some photos from a visit.
A portion of the center is left as a cattle corral, to commemorate the fact that before the JSC was built, this area was just a ranch.
Mission Control. This is the Press Room overlooking the control room. This room handled most of the Gemini flights, all of the Apollo, and many of the Space Shuttles.
During the Shuttle era the consoles were upgraded. When the site was declared a National Historical Landmark, it was restored to its 1960s configuration. Those might look like computer monitors, but they are not—they are TV screens. The entire Apollo series was done using slide rules and pencils.
The Rocket Garden. Nothing was actually launched from Houston—there are no pads here. But they wanted rockets to show the tourists, so this is a Little Joe ® which was used to test the Apollo escape systems, and a Mercury-Redstone (l) used to launch the first two Mercury missions.
Saturn V rocket, one of only three survivors. The human figure at left gives a sense of scale–it is immense
The business end of the first stage–five F-1 rocket engines
The Faith 7 Mercury spaceship, flown by Gordo Cooper
Gemini V spaceship
Apollo 17 Command Module. Our last trip to the Moon.
Lunar Module trainer
Docking module used to train for the joint Soviet-American Apollo-Soyuz flight
Full-scale mockup of he Skylab space station, used for training
“Independence”, a full-scale training mockup of the Space Shuttle, attached to the 747 aircraft which carried the shuttles back from their landing in California.
Inside the Shuttle cargo bay
Inside the Shuttle cockpit
“Robonaut”, an experimental project from DARPA. It is operated remotely from inside the shuttle to do routine maintenance tasks outside in space.
By golly, I think this is a “guppy”—one of the aircraft that carries rocket parts around the country—flying overhead.