NASA Johnson Spacecraft Center - March 12, 2018
by Lawson Cook

Early on the morning of March 12, our group of 22 hearty TIHAA travelers and guests boarded the Harris County bus in Bayland Park and headed for an exciting day trip to Space Center Houston, the portal to outer space.

The weather was nice and sunny, but there was a brisk cool wind out of the North that made us glad we had our coats.

As we motored down the roads and tollroads to Webster, as is her custom, Mary handed out a bag of goodies to everyone - must make sure that everyone is properly nourished with plenty of tasty sweet snacks.

As we arrived at Space Center Houston, we were delivered to the entrance on our bus and Mary gave us our marching instructions for the day. We were on our own to explore the various things to see - and there are more than you can do in a day.

As it turned out, this week was the beginning of Spring Break in the Houston area, so there were LARGE groups of parents with kids in tow everywhere.

Many of us retiree folks decided to first get in line for the NASA Tram Tour that transports you to the NASA site. Unfortunately, with all the extra Spring Break folks, we had to wait almost 1 hour to get started on the Tram Tour. We took the 90-minute tour.

On the full 90-minute NASA Tram Tour, we were guided through different JSC locations including Rocket Park, where one of only three of the remaining actual Saturn V rockets is displayed, along with other rockets that propelled space exploration. We then walked an elevated path through the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility where NASA astronauts train for current missions and where scientists and engineers are developing the next generation of space exploration vehicles. We visited the iconic Christopher C. Kraft Mission Control Center and entered the White Flight Control Room, which will be used to support NASA's Orion spacecraft.

After we returned back at Space Center Houston, we enjoyed lunch (which was included in our ticket) at the Zero-G Diner. There was a good selection of sandwiches and such available.

After lunch, we had time to visit some of the many educational displays of past, present and future space operations. Many videos were available for viewing. We made a special point to go outside to Independence Plaza to see the Boeing 747 with Space Shuttle Independence on top. We were able to go into both vehicles.

As 3 PM approached, we made our way back to the entrance and met up with our bus driver for our trip back to Bayland Park. We arrived back safely and our exciting day drew to a close.

Our attendees were: Tom & Cindy Croissant, Della DuHart, Bernadine Dennis, Jean Houston, George Wolf, Bob & Marian Gruber, Gary Luckett, Corall Harrington, Leona Harris, Gwen Dickey, Brenda Moss and her friends Billy & Marilyn Ragan, Lonnie Buckner, Lawson & Kay Cook with friends Pat & Annette Hawkins, Mary Brown and her friend Sylvia Cruz.

Don't forget to join us on our next Day Trip.

Copyright TI Houston Alumni Association, All Rights Reserved.

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