Space Center Houston is the visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center. It's the product of the joint efforts of NASA and Disney Imagineering. Easily the most popular attraction in the Houston area, there's nothing like it anywhere else in the world. You'll find plenty of exhibits and activities to interest both adults and children, and they do a great job of introducing the visitor to different aspects of space exploration. The center banks heavily on interactive displays and simulations on the one hand and actual access to the real thing on the other. For instance, the Feel of Space gallery simulates working in the frictionless environment of space by using an air-bearing floor (something like a giant air-hockey table). Another simulator shows what it's like to land the lunar orbiter. For a direct experience of NASA, you can take the 1 1/2-hour tram tour that takes you to, among other places, the International Space Station Assembly Building and NASA control center. You get to see things as they happen, especially interesting if there's a shuttle mission in progress. You might also see astronauts in training. And, on top of all this, Space Center Houston has the largest IMAX in Texas. Plan on staying here 3 to 4 hours.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Very Highly Recommended 2010