See the future of spaceflight


Get a glimpse of the future with an update on the Orion program from NASA and Lockheed Martin, as well as a special space presentation to Space Center Houston. See the modern Orion spacecraft and a piece of the back-shell tile panel that protected the Orion capsule during its first high orbital flight test. Hear updates on the progress of Exploration Mission-1 and how Orion’s design has evolved to support future missions, presented by Mark Kirasich, NASA’s Orion program manager, and Blaine Brown, Lockheed Martin’s Orion crew module engineering deputy.

The Orion back-shell tile panel flown in space last December is now on display through Dec. 30 at Space Center Houston. The panel consists of heat-shielding tiles and protects the spacecraft from temperatures reaching 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. See the Orion capsule, a full-scale engineering model used to train astronauts for entering and exiting the spacecraft. Gaze up at an Orion parachute cascading from the center ceiling and learn about the future of human space exploration during this special presentation. Both the capsule and the back-shell tile panel are on loan from Lockheed Martin.

This holiday season there’s something for everyone. Visitors will navigate a deep space mission in Space Center Houston’s immersive fall exhibit — the world premiere of “Be the Astronaut,” sponsored by the city of Webster, now through Jan. 3. Plan a mission to Mars, pilot a rover along the red planet’s surface and have fun with hands-on technologies. See the comprehensive spacesuit collection, touch a moon rock, or board the NASA Tram Tour and see where astronauts train. For tickets, visit


Space Center Houston, 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058


Dec. 16
7-7:30 a.m. – Check-in, refreshments
7:30-8 a.m. – Orion Mission update, presentation
8 a.m. – Q&A

Best photo ops:

  • See a piece of the Orion back-shell tile panel that protected the capsule during its first high orbital test.
  • Stand close to an Orion capsule, NASA’s new exploration spacecraft.
  • Hear NASA and Lockheed Martin experts provide an update on the progress of Exploration Mission-1.
  • See a flown flag from Orion’s inaugural flight presented to Space Center Houston.
  • Gaze at an Orion parachute that was used in a drop test with an Orion test article.

Possible Interviews:

Richard Allen, president and CEO, Space Center Houston
Mark Kirasich, Orion Program Manager, NASA Johnson Space Center
Blaine Brown, Deputy Manager, Orion Crew Module Engineering, Lockheed Martin


Meridyth Moore, Public Relations Specialist, (281) 244-2139,

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