Space Center Houston turns 25

Over the last 25 years, Space Center Houston has inspired millions through the wonders of space exploration and contributed a great deal to the community and the world through education programs and museum exhibits.

We appreciate your support over these 25 years. We could not have done it without you. Our core mission is to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration. Every one of you who walks through our doors and imagines what it was like to land on the moon or what it will be like to colonize Mars fulfills that mission.

Through the years, the center has seen some great accomplishments. We’ve opened major new exhibits like Independence Plaza. We’ve shared rare and inspiring space artifacts that document landmark achievements in human space travel and educated scores of future explorers. We continue to grow and add things to see and do every day.

Launch through time with us as we reminisce.

Space Center Houston timeline

October 1992
Space Center Houston opens

June 1993
First day campers explore space science with us

September 1994
First seasonal exhibit opens

LEGO exhibit featuring LEGO astronaut

May 1996
Kids Space Place opens

March 1999
Starship Gallery Timeline added

September 2002
International Space Station model added

March 2003
Mission Briefing Center added

Formerly known as Blast-Off! Theater

July 2005
T-38 Talon Park opens

January 2016
Independence Plaza opens

December 2016
One million visitors achieved and exceeded for the first time
January 2017
Mission Mars Exhibit opens

Fun facts

  • Over 18 million visitors have explored space with us at Space Center Houston.
  • The Kennedy podium was the first official artifact in Space Center Houston’s collection.
  • Students from more than 25 countries have explored science, technology, engineering and math in our education programs.
  • Our NASA Tram Tours have traveled more than 780,980 miles, which is an equivalent distance to three trips to the moon.
  • Our SpaceTrader gift shop sells 882 astronaut cookies and ice cream sandwiches every week.
  • There are still 18 original “launch crew” members, employees who started in 1992, working at Space Center Houston.
  • Many celebrity guests have discovered the wonders of space exploration with us including Ron Howard, Michael Strahan, Tom Hanks, Gary Sinese, Jay Leno, Bill Nye and Chuck Norris.

Then and now

The lunar vault contains the largest collection of moon rocks on public display. Millions of visitors have felt the smooth surface of our lunar touchstone, which is one of only eight moon rocks in the world that people can touch. Click here to learn more about the lunar vault.

Humans have been living in space for almost 17 continuous years aboard the International Space Station. As the space station has grown and expanded, so has our International Space Station Gallery. Click here to learn more about the International Space Station Gallery.

NASA is working to perfect and advance robotic technology, and we’ve shared this work to inspire our visitors through the wonders of space exploration. Don’t miss our Robonauts in Astronaut Gallery and Starship Gallery, and see Valkyrie, NASA’s latest generation of Robonaut, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility on the NASA Tram Tour.

Blast from the past