Friday, January 31, 2020

NASA Johnson Space Center

This week we arrived in the Houston Texas area. We are staying in an RV park between Houston and Galveston Island. We went to the Space Center on Wednesday for about six hours. We have been to Kennedy Space Center and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center at Huntsville so this is our third NASA site.





The Visitor Center has many displays of space objects like moon rocks, the Apollo 17 capsule, movies and many more items.
These photos are from the tour we took. This is an experimental rover vehicle with new methods for donning space suits.


No astronauts were in the building today.
This is a training area for microgravity simulation.


Robots are in this area work area. Schools come in and students build some of these.

One of the Shuttle cargo arms.

Real robots.

Robonaut 2 https://robonaut.jsc.nasa.gov/R2/ 


Valkyrie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE-YBaYjbqY

They are testing tires and wheels for the rovers.







Expandable Module https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigelow_Expandable_Activity_Module


Russian modules of the International Space Station.






Several prototype space vehicles are in this building.
Apollo 1, Challenger, Columbia astronauts that died in space programs.


Capsule that Russia has used for several years.
Americans went to the Space Station on these with the Russians.



Houston has a Saturn 5 rocket that was restored and had a building constructed around it. We have seen Saturn 5's at Huntsville and Kennedy. Really BIG.




Hyperbaric chamber just in case it's needed for divers.

Neutral-buoyancy diving is used to simulate the weightlessness of space travel.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_Buoyancy_Laboratory

A full scale mockup of the entire Space Station is in the pool. The Space Shuttle was in the pool previously but no longer needed for training since it is no longer used.



The Mission Control Center. Chris Craft was Flight Director for many years.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_C._Kraft_Jr.


International Space Station Mission Control today.



Mission Control for Apollo 13 and others. It has been restored to it's original condition after years of sitting idle. If you watched any ot the Apollo series and the first moon landing, this is the room that you were watching on television.

Our tour took us into the original Mission Control. Every object in the room is exactly as it was for Apollo 13. Flight Controller Gene Kranz (retired) was active in this restoration. He welcomes the tour by recording when you enter Mission Control. Gene was Flight Director for Apollo 13 and others. In a 2010 Space Foundation survey, Kranz was ranked as the #2 most popular space hero. Kranz travels all over the world giving a motivational lecture titled "Failure Is Not an Option".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Kranz


A "backup" US Moon flag from one of the Apollo missions. This is the flag they left at each landing sight. It has an arm at the top so it stays "flying" since there is no wind on the moon.

Standing at the front of the room under the wall displaying flight conditions and video.


Photo of Gene Kranz at his console. I have the great book that Gene published in 2009 Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1439148815.
Back at the Museum there are many other things to see. These are examples of tiny particles hitting the side of a space vehicle and how protection is provided.




The End

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