News Center

Space Center Houston Remains Open Even If Government Shuts Down

The nonprofit Space Center Houston will remain open with more than 400 things to see and do even if there is a government shutdown.

Space Center Houston is the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center, but is owned and operated by a separate nonprofit organization.

In the event of a government shutdown, programing at Space Center Houston would continue, including live presentations, films and educational programs, such as Space Center University. The Tram Tour and Level 9 tour to the neighboring JSC might halt temporarily. Updates will be posted here and on social media.

The center’s extensive permanent collection of artifacts includes three flown spacecraft from the Gemini, Mercury and Apollo eras. The world premiere of Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission includes the command module from humanity’s first steps on the moon and the helmet and gloves that astronaut Buzz Aldrin wore on that historic mission. Space Center Houston is the only location where visitors can see the space capsules for both the first lunar landing of Apollo 11 and the last of Apollo 17. The original shuttle carrier aircraft mounted by the full-scale shuttle replica Independence forms the one-of-a-kind Independence Plaza.

Legendary astronaut John Young dies at age 87

Retired astronaut John Young, the ninth person to walk on the moon who enjoyed a career spanning three space programs, died this weekend at the age of 87.

Not many astronauts had careers like Young. Not many people in any field could boast as much professional success. He was the first American to fly in space six times. He was dedicated to NASA and the future of space exploration and had a career that stretched from the Gemini Program through the Space Shuttle Program.

Young took his first steps into space by graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He then flew in Fighter Squadron 103 during the Korean War.

In September 1962, Young was selected as an astronaut by NASA. His first trip into space was on Gemini 3, the first crewed Gemini mission, which flew in March 1965. His second mission was on Gemini 10 in 1966. Young, as commander, and future Apollo 11 crewmember Michael Collins completed a dual rendezvous.

On his third flight, Young was the command module pilot on Apollo 10, which launched in 1969. His fourth mission was a lunar exploration mission on Apollo 16. The second-to-last Apollo mission launched in 1972 and was a lunar exploration mission, with Young as spacecraft commander. They collected 200 pounds of rocks and drove more than 16 miles in the lunar rover.

Young’s historic career stretched past his trips to the moon. His final two trips into space occurred as part of the burgeoning Space Shuttle Program. That included being commander of STS-1, the first flight of a shuttle orbiter. Young’s final trip into orbit was on STS-9, the first Spacelab mission in November 1983.

Young logged more than 15,275 hours of flying time in props, jets, helicopters and rocket jets, more than 9,200 hours in T-38s and totaled 835 hours in space.

Click here to learn more about John Young.

Space Center Houston Girls Program Gets Boost


Space Center Houston’s Girls STEM education has received a boost from its longtime supporter The Boeing Company with a grant of $42,000.

“We believe that learning is best delivered through hands-on experiences,” said William T. Harris, president and CEO of Space Center Houston. “Boeing’s gift and the experiences it affords is an investment to inspire the next generation of thinkers and leaders to one day enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.”


Choose to go to the moon!

Experience the past, present and future of humankind’s journey to space. Walk through the future of space exploration in Mission Mars, where you can experience what it will take to visit the red planet. Discover the exciting past of the Apollo program in the blockbuster exhibit, Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. Take a tram tour to Johnson Space Center and see NASA’s current work on human space exploration. 

Visit Jan. 4 for a special presentation exploring President Richard Nixon’s 1972 announcement to build a reusable space shuttle. NASA Johnson Space Center historian Jennifer Ross-Nazzal will discuss the topic and answer audience questions Jan. 4 1:30-2 p.m., free with an admission ticket.

The future is now. Make the new year great with a trip to Space Center Houston

Plan your visit today!

Space Exploration Educators Conference Empowers Teachers at Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston will empower teachers from around the world with new ideas for the classroom, inspiring messages from experts and the latest news on what’s happening now in space exploration. It’s all at the 24th annual Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC), Feb. 1-3.

It’s an opportunity to transform all disciplines with immersive learning experiences and empower the next generation of explorers.


Enrollment now open for new 11-14-year-old Space Center U program

Space Center Houston’s ultimate educational experience Space Center U expands to include a new program for students ages 11-14 beginning this fall. This five-day challenge promotes teamwork, solving problems, communication skills and engineering solutions to space-related situations.

In the new program, 11- to 14-year-old participants will experience interactive and engaging activities and challenges that explore moon missions including rocket launches, lunar habitat design and sustainability, robotic rovers and more.

Space Center U students also get a behind-the-scenes look at space exploration. They will hear from expert guest speakers, including a NASA astronaut, and learn what it takes to prepare humans for space exploration. They also will tour Space Center Houston exhibits and NASA Johnson Space Center facilities, including the Neutral Buoyancy Lab where astronauts train.

Enroll your students in Space Center U today and inspire your students to pursue STEM through the wonders of space exploration.