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Touched The Moon

November 16th, 2008 at 08:11 am

We went to NASA / Johnson Space Center yesterday. It was G-R-E-A-T! We went on/to:

- Tram Tour (which included stops at Mission Control, the Astronaut Training Facility, and Rocket Park)

- Blast Off (where we got a live briefing of current spaceflight activity, especially interesting since Space Shuttle Endeavour had lifted off on its way to the Space Station just one day prior --- this included an outline of NASA's future goals)

- Living In Space (where they had mock-ups of the parts of the shuttles' interiors and explained and demonstrated how astronauts carried out their daily lives in space including activities such as eating and sleeping, and the always asked question "how do they go to the bathroom?")

- Starship Gallery & Artifact Museum (where we saw a nicely done film about the history of and reasons for space travel, then went to the museum which was just amazing) --- That is where I "touched the moon." Those of you who have been there know that there is a little piece of moon rock that they let visitors touch.

DH also tried out some of the flight simulators.

We wanted to make it a day trip to avoid having to pay for a hotel, so we followed the recommended list of "Must See" Attractions" for a shorter visit. There were other things to do and see, including several opportunities to drop some extra money on amusement park type rides. But we stuck to the things that were included with our admissionn fee, were more educational in nature, and were highest up on the "must see" list. As it was, with driving back and forth from the Austin area, it was a rather long (13-plus-hour) day. While I could have gladly spent another 1-2 hours there, going to other movies & visiting other exhibits, I still felt like we got the full experience.

For anyone who has the opportunity to visit Texas (or anyone who lives here and has not yet been), it's definitely worth the trip! For you parents, they have many activities for children (many included with the admission cost), and the kids we saw all seemed to be having an absolute blast.

We spent $5 on parking, $18.90 for 2 admission tickets (I bought tickets in advance on-line when they were having a 1/2-price sale), $15 for lunch, and I spent $3.49 at the gift store (2 postcards to send to family and 2 rubber wristbands that say "Failure Is Not An Option" for DH & I). Transportation back & forth was our biggest expense, but quite a bit less now than it would have been several months ago thanks to the lower gasoline prices.

The last couple weeks have been quite busy with work, my playing social secretary some evenings to some customers of DH's who visited from overseas, and our pup having to go to the vet to get something checked out and then needing a bit of extra attention & meds (he probably has developed allergies because of our move here --- hopefully they'll go away when we move to Cali). I have a draft blog entry going on quite a few things which includes mostly a bunch of boring numbers, but I just hadn't had the time or energy to finish it up. (Blogging about touching the moon is much more interesting.) But I will get to that next week!

NASA has the goal of landing a man (or woman) on Mars right around the time DH & I hit standard retirement age. If they can achieve that goal, then surely DH & I can achieve our goal of a secure retirement, right? As they say in Mission Control: FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!

6 Responses to “Touched The Moon”

  1. littlegopher Says:

    We touched the moon too! We camped on Galveston Island over our spring break last March, and had a great time in that part of Texas. We spent a day at the Space Center, and still didn't see all there was to see. We may just have to travel back there again! My daughters picked the wristbands that said "It's not rocket science - oh wait, it is!" Glad you had a fun time!

  2. LadyT Says:

    I grew up in Houston and went to NASA several times way back then (a loooong time ago) but I haven't been in YEARS and would love to go! You are making steady progress on your list; hopefully you won't miss out on San Antonio, I love the Riverwalk! Do you have plans to go there soon, before it gets cold? I'll bet it's probably already decorated for Christmas, and it would be pretty now with all the lights!

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Now I want to go there! We skipped the whole space thing when we were in Florida...it never dawned on me there would be something similar in Texas. I do remember the famous line "Houston...we have a problem.", so one would think I would make some sort of connection!! LOL! I'll mention it to DH as a summer vacation trip idea.

  4. scfr Says:

    littlegopher - I liked those wrist bands (the ones your daughter picked) too! Very clever.

    Lady T - Yes, the plan is to try to get to San Antonio to see the Riverwalk decorated with Christmas lights. Our next trip is to San Diego (early December), and once that is done we'll work on the San Antonio plans.

    creditcardfree - Yes, it would be a great family summer vacation trip, especially if you are in or near Texas. If you go to an outlet mall or somewhere they have tourist info, look for brochures to the Space Center. They have coupons inside, one for a discount on admission, and the other for a discount at the diner. (Grab one brochure for each of you and pay for your meals seperately, as each coupon is only good for one item. DH & I made the mistake of thinking we could share. And of course check the web site occasionally for sales on discounted tickets.)

    I just added "Apollo 13" to my Netflix list ... We saw it when it first came out, but now DH & I both want to watch it again!

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I've been to both the Houston Space Center and the one in FL. Both of them are very interesting places to visit.

  6. monkeymama Says:

    Yeah, I've been to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was awesome. I assume the 2 are similar.

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