I've been meaning to post this blog for a long time now, but I just didn't get around to it 'till now.
The "2nd" part of our Houston trip (well... 4 hours of the last day spent there really) was a trip to the Johnson Space Center, aka NASA!!
Jay and I had a blast touring the whole museum as well as going on the tram tour to historic mission control and various training centers on the base.
The highlight for me was indeed mission control. We toured there merely and hour before docking proceedures were to commence for the space shuttle that flew up on Friday (2 days earlier) to swap out one person at the international space station.
Speaking of the international space station. They have a training layout in a building there of every single piece of equipment up there. Obviously it isn't laid out exactly how it would appear in space, because they have to lay it out flat on Earth. But they do this so that when they take up new equipment to the station itself they can practice beforehand (and make sure it fits right, etc.).
This is the training space station building (don't remember the real name) where that all happens.
This is the arm on the shuttle that the astronauts use to manuver large/heavy objects around outside the space station for building/maintenance procedures. On earth it can't lift anything heavier than a balloon filled with air, but in space it can manuver the entire station itself (one piece at a time).
Going into the building with the "Saturn 5" rocket (that they flew to the moon in the Apollo Missions) on loan to the Johnson Space Center from the Smithsonian.
My favorite mission story:
This was my birthday present to Jay (and half-birthday present to myself - considering our birthday's are each other's half-birdays).
We had a lot of fun browsing the gift shop afterward and I bought a really cute white sweat-shirt-ish kind of a thing with the NASA logo on it. I also bought a picture of us just before going on the tour (they are required to take photographs of every person who sets foot on the base for security reasons).