No other city in America can claim to be the hub of our nation’s coolest scientific program – NASA is based right here in Houston at the Johnson Space Center. As we all struggle to find new and exciting ways to spend the long, hot summer days, taking a trip to the Space Center is a great way to pass some time and learn a thing or two!

Heading south from The Woodlands on Interstate 45 for roughly an hour, you’ll come to Clear Lake, where the Johnson Space Center is located on appropriately-named, Nasa Parkway. Space Center Houston, the museum portion of the NASA complex, is where you’ll spend your time exploring. Open from 9 am until 6 pm until mid-August, the museum caters to individuals, families, and groups. Look for senior and youth ticket discounts, or buy tickets along with an audio tour to guide you through the exhibits.

Thirty-six unique exhibits, movies, and live shows will keep you busy for more than just one day. Some of the most popular things to do at the museum include having lunch with a real astronaut (special ticket required), taking the tram ride through the NASA complex, touring the historic and new Mission Control rooms, and strolling through the Starship Gallery and Lunar Roving Vehicle displays. One of the newest items that should be on your to-do list is visiting the Mission Mars exhibit, where you can climb into a replica Orion space capsule, view a Martian sunset, and experience what Mars rocks really feel like.

A stop on the tram tour, Building 9 is the home of NASA’s astronaut training facilities and Exploration Rover prototypes. Visitors can walk along an elevated walkway and look down upon the crew compartment mockup of the space shuttle. You’ll also see where government officials meet to solve problems in the event something isn’t right aboard the International Space Station.

You won’t want to miss the 30-minute, live presentation: Living In Space. You can interact with the International Space Station replica by testing out an astronaut’s bed, exercise equipment, and scientific study devices. Learn how astronauts spend their days and what happens to their bodies after extended periods in space.

Space Center Houston also offers education for children and adults alike. Several summer opportunities for day camps and an overnight experience are still available.

Go to Space Center Houston to explore, discover, learn and enjoy!