I’ve read somewhere that visiting NASA takes, normally, around 5h. Yeah, that long! So, before heading there, we stopped by our favorite place for brunch, Snooze, as everyone needs energy when spending a day in space.
Snooze is a place for breakfast, brunch or light lunches, as they usually close early, and their speciality is pancakes. We’ve been there so many times that we always go for the same old chilli verde eggs benedict: two poached eggs on the top of tortillas and pulled pork topped with hollandaise and served with an amazing hash brown and salsa. We also ordered pumpkin pancakes – thank God for pumpkin season – to share.
After this we were ready to drive to NASA. If you drive there, you can park inside the building for only $5 and you’re only a few steps away from the main door.
We had booked the tours we wanted to do online, so as soon as we arrived we quickly went for the tram tour and, a few minutes later, we sat down and started our tour.
The first stop was at Mission Control Center. This room was where the Apollo and Gemini missions were monitored from. It’s incredible how everything has been kept as it was originally and it’s a pleasure to hear one of the guides talking about how they used to do the calculations when calculators were still not available.
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong’s famous words were forever ingrained in history: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”
Next stop, the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility. Here, engineers and scientists work together to build vehicle mockups and robots to enable astronauts to train for their space missions. From a high level catwalk, you can see several space shuttle mockups as well as mockups of pressurized modules on the International Space Station and Orion’s capsule – This spacecraft will play an important part in NASA’s journey to Mars. Orion will carry astronauts farther into the solar system than ever before.. Basically, here is where the future is being built.. and it’s amazing.
The last stop was to get a closer look at the Mercury Redstone, the first vehicle in the US to transport humans to space and, most importantly, the Saturn V Rocket, which was built by NASA to transport humans to the Moon.
Saturn V heights 111m, weights the equivalent of a 36 story-building and, when fully fueled for liftoff weighs the same as 400 elephants and was the most powerful rocket that had ever flown successfully.
When we entered the warehouse where Saturn V is kept, I was just amazed by the sheer engineering we were able to pull off decades ago with what is by today’s standard ancient technology. The size of the Rocket was immense – and so was the genius behind it.
After the tram tour, we visited the Space Center main building where you can see some pieces that have been on space missions, astronaut suits, enter the Sky Lab – a mockup of the first American Space Station and watch some demonstrations like how is it to live in space. Here, you can spend a few more hours exploring and it’s worth it.
The last tour was the Independence Plaza where visitors can enter this Space Shuttle replica mounted on top of the original shuttle NASA 905 and then enter the giant aircraft.
The ticket price is $29 and all these tours are included so there’s no excuse for not going.
We still had time to enjoy ourselves while the hubby was the pilot and I was the gunner on a space shuttle simulator.
Whoever said it takes around 5h to visit the whole Space Center was right as it was how long it took. We came home so happy as its not everyday you go to space, at least in such an authentic way – ahahahahha.
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