NASA's Johnson Space Center

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1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX, USA

NASA's Johnson Space Center Houston Reviews

WalterC WalterC
391 reviews
Houston, we should visit this place! Sep 28, 2013
Located about 30 minutes from downtown Houston, the Johnson Space Center is definitely worth a visit if you are in town. Makes sense, as Houston has become synonymous with space travel. As you often hear astronauts call out to Houston.

The only way to really get there is by car, as it would take a very long time by public transportation. Though, there is a $6 fee for parking, but the web site does not mention this at all.

The Johnson Space Center has a museum and a tram tour around it, and both are worth doing. The museum has displays of past spacecrafts and history on space travel itself. There are former astronauts who give tours of the museum. They can be interesting to listen to, but can take up some time.

Then there is the tram tour, which takes you to Rocket Garden and either Mission Control or Building 16. The downside is that it is weather-permitting. So if it rains outside, the tour will be delayed. And any one that has just started, will have to turn back and return to the visitor center, and go back of the line for the tram.

Rocket Garden has a few spacecrafts on display, along with the huge Saturn V rocket stored indoors. And Building 16 is where the flight simulator takes place, as well as the software and hardware checks, which does not seem as interesting as the idea of visiting Mission Control, which I assume, is where “Houston” is located. That can be very disappointing.

But overall, the Johnson Space Center is a very nice place to visit, with interactive exhibitions and a worthwhile museum, something for everyone. Just hope that there is no rain in the forecast when visiting there. And definitely give yourself at least 4 hours at the place, more if you have kids, if they really like the place.
Gemini 5 Spacecraft
Apollo spacecraft
space suits
lunar rover
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
WalterC says:
I really liked it, but then again, I used to be crazy about astronomy and space travel when I was a kid.
Posted on: May 27, 2016
monkeymia79 says:
I would love to tour the Johnson Space Center, how interesting.
Posted on: May 26, 2016
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viajo viajo
6 reviews
Awesome visit if you know what you're getting into Feb 16, 2013
Friends I have taken to the Space Center either love it or hate it. I've had science and space fanatics tell me they hated it. I've had people with no interest in space tell me they love it. This is my review though and I am going to tell you that I love it. My take:

The main attraction of Space Center Houston is the tram tour. You stop at a few different places during this tram tour, where you get to go inside. One is the historic mission control center (think Apollo 13). Another is Rocket park, where you can see Saturn V, a humongous rocket. Everything IS bigger in Texas. Seeing the rocket and reading about the missions makes you really think about how monumentally difficult space travel is. Then seeing the inspirational quotes inscribed on the wall inside the hangar about the determination of mankind, getting a flashback of JFK's famous line about going to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard. It seriously humbled me, gave me chills, and renewed my love of this country and its history.

You also get to walk through a hall displaying artifacts found in space, with signs telling you the background and significance. It was a lot of reading, which I typically don't really like doing too much of when I am at a museum. But this was different and interesting to me, so I enjoyed it.

Now, you do have to realize several things:

- The Space Center is not in Houston city limits. It's actually a good 40 minute drive from downtown Houston to the Space Center, if there is minimal traffic.

- As of February 2013, there is a Metro bus 249 that takes you from downtown out to and back from the Space Center. It's just a city bus, not luxurious. It's cheap. It will take just over an hour each way. They run hourly. It's a Houston bus so departure/arrival times can be +/- 15 minutes. The bus does NOT run during the weekends. Yeah, nice right?

- With the Tram tour, as with any guided tour, the quality of your experience is going to depend on the guide. Yes, this is obvious. I've had certain friends that didn't like the tour tell me the guide was clueless. But I've heard good things about guides too. So, hit or miss.

- About that historic Mission Control Center . . . you sit in a visitor area overlooking it. You're not actually walked through the center itself. If you want to risk doing this yourself after their spiel, then that's your call.

- The Space Center has a large playground, an astronaut show, and a space-themed arcade targeting kids. Be prepared to be overrun by kids, especially if you go during a holiday or during the summer.

- For those on a budget, buy your tickets online in advance for a discount, or include this destination with a CityPass purchase.

- For those not on a budget, look into the Level 9 tour for $90. You get a VIP tour with lunch included. There are certain things included with this tour that I think could be included in the tour for the mere plebes, but I digress.

Overall, is it worth it? Yes! Go. Marvel about the history of manned space flight. See a huge rocket and wonder and learn how that thing can fly. Walk into the historic mission control center and be the first to crack "Houston, we have a problem." Have a blast!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Vikram says:
I think the real problem with this place is that you spend more time in the queues for various attractions than enjoying the attraction itself (which is usually a 20 min thing).
Posted on: Feb 16, 2013
sille sille
1 reviews
unexpected-great Aug 22, 2012
Ok, I must admit, I didn't thought I would visit the nasa spacecenter. It even didn't interested me. But my friends were asking me to go there to take a picture from the front entrance. But...I must take al my words back. It's amazing and I certainly would go again on my next trip to Houston!

The main attraction is a tram tour you can make. Here you can see the real rockets, and a research-training center. It's encredible, if you didn't saw it with your own eyes.

There is also an imax theatre, and when I was there, they showed a documantary about the history of space science.

There is a large playground for children, they can feel how it feels to walk in space, etc...

It's a must see, when you are in Houston!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
elgringo80 elgringo…
3 reviews
Houson we have a problem! May 14, 2011
Great to see the actual size of the rocket ships Apollo missions. i didn't think i would ever saw the room from the movie Apollo 13 :) and many many other interesting sides of the entire facility . But.. they were so worried about the steps.. don't worry people 87 steps won't kill you!!
sille says:
I've been there last year, I must say if you don't have much time, you can do it in a half day, the biggest part exist in a sort of 'children' space playground. But in a the hostel where I stayed there was a guy and he needed more then a day. It depends how interested you are ;) The most interesting part is the little tour on tram. I will post my reviews in pictures later on today (any more questions don't hesitate...)
Posted on: Aug 22, 2012
andrewcsikes says:
Is this an all day kind of thing or is half a day enough?
Posted on: Jun 21, 2012
williamsworld williams…
285 reviews
Blast off Dec 29, 2008
This is a fun education activity for the entire family. There is so much to do and so much to see that I will not bore you with all the details. The best way to check it out is to visit the website and, if possible, take a trip there. I will just say that we had a great time taking the tour, exploring all of the exhibits and taking some fun pictures. The staff is very friendly. They were accommodating to all of our needs, even on the tram tours. This place is like a little Disneyland. You queue up for most of the experiences and attractions which include: The Starship Gallery Artifact Museum which includes Moon Rocks; Blast Off, which starts off with a great video about the space shuttle taking off. Once this short video is over you get to enter into a live conversation with a tour guide about current missions and watch current space feeds. The lady we had was patient and answered question with a confidence of all NASA employees; The Tram Tours are also grand. They have three to choose from, the Red, White or Blue. Red takes you to the Astronaut Training Facility and the Saturn facility, for which we took. It was a ‘blast.’ The Blue: Mission Control and the Saturn Facility and the White, the Neutral Buoyancy Lab. You can also visit the Northrop Grumman Theater and the ‘Feel of Space’ exhibit. Because there is so much to see and do, they first give you a color map that list all these activities with a brief description about each one. They also include a chart that will suggest ‘what to see in the time you have.’ They break it up into hours: 3-4, 4-5 or all day. It is a great way to organize you adventure. We were there for over 5 hours and didn’t have a chance to experience everything. The crowds were smaller than those of the summer, so if you plan to visit, do get there early and stay late.

The have a place called Zero G Diner which is really a food court for your dinning pleasure. It is rather expensive, so be prepared to shell out quite a few dollars to eat there. The gift shops are full of great trinkets, photos, t-shirts, candy and about anything else they can slap NASA on. The must get gift is the freeze dried foods that astronauts take into space. My niece decided that Chocolate chip mint and the ice cream sandwich was the best. If it all seems a bit overwhelming, it is not that bad. Get there and just have fun.

There is a way to save a little money, purchase a membership. The membership entitles you to free parking on your next visits, up to a year out, discounts on the food and souvenirs. It was a good deal for our large family. One membership and all the discounts all paid for itself in one swipe of the card.
In front of the Space Center
Inside NASA
The American Flag hanging above a …
The payload of the space shuttle
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Nair2011 Nair2011
246 reviews
Learnt about an Astronaught life Apr 10, 2005
Johnson Space Center in Houston is definitely worth to visit. This place has many things for a visitor to learn about space and astronaut program. All astronaughts went to space have their pictures. This place is the home for the astronauts for training.

There are also several equipments to feel the experience of space.. like sero gravity place etc. also there is astronaught cabin where demonstration about astronaught life in space will be given by the experts.

Tram ride around the facility is another highlight. Tour guide will explain the the old Mission Control Center equipment. Also in Building 9 they have equipment to train the astronauts in zero gravity environment. We can see different rockets in the rocket park.

Souvenir and photographs taken while the visit can be purchased at the exit in the souvenir shop.
Pictures of Astronaughts
The group died in a crash
Building # 9

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