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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Visiting NASA Space Center - Houston TX

We went to Houston to visit family at Thanksgiving time.  On the Friday after, my family decided to go to see the Space Center at NASA before we headed back home.
Here are my images of that trip.
One of my favorite images of the trip.  Its so impressive to be able to see one of the space shuttles like that.
 Here's a image of Houston as we were driving to the Space Center.
 And here's an image of Houston at night from the hotel window we were staying at.

 As soon as we parked at the Space Center my family was out looking at the things that were on exhibit out side.  Here they actually had the Space Shuttle Independence.  To me nothing gets better than that - being able to actually walk around it and see it from different angles.

The Space Shuttle 'Independence' at the NASA Space Center Houston TX
 Through the years my family has been to the Space Center, but its not very often that we get to go there.  One of the things I love about the place is that it is always evolving and changing so its never really the same.
We walk in and its a huge place and it is overwhelming.  They do give you a guide and do make suggestions of where you should go and tell you what time you can here key people talk.
 This was the typical stuff I expected to see.
 What I wasn't expecting to see was their special Leonardo DaVinci - Machines in Motion exhibit.  Needless to say it was a fascinating exhibit and I spent a lot of time looking at everything.
 Everything that was there was based on his notebooks and are believed to be things he may have actually built.  They tried to replicate things as closely as possible.
I had never realized he had invented a bicycle.
With each piece they had a display like this one explaining things, along with the diagram it was based on.
 They also had a video going which was showing some of his more popular sketches.
These two images where  taken while it was playing - I really didn't thing they would turn out.

 What was really nice about a lot of these exhibits was they were hands on and you could touch and move things.

There was so much to see and do.  I just wished I had written down the stuff I was seeing.  Some of these are obvious like this log cutter but others aren't.
 Like this one.  I can't remember what this was.
 or this but it did look like a clock or something complex like that.
 This was a drill press of some sort.

 And I think this was a tank.
  While this was a flying machine.

 Along with these others, and also a parachute. (Some of the pictures I took were too out of focus or not getting it at a good angle for me.

 I thought this was interesting a machine gun before its time.

 So many machines - such a genious. It was a great exhibit to see and I was glad it was showing when we went there.

     Then we looked at more of the mainstream exhibits.  They were good too but not as impressive as the DaVinci exhibit.

  With Columbia I was always curious as to what when wrong.  At least with the displays like these I could see where some of the problems were.

 Then they had and exhibit for Apollo that I just had to check out.  I was able to go into a vaulted room and see these treasures.  MOON ROCKS!!  to me these were by far the best exhibit they had and a spent many a minute looking at them.  In fact I was spending so much time my family went ahead to other areas without me and told me to meet up with them at noon in the cafe.  I guess they weren't going to be able to pull me away from these very easily.

 I liked seeing the rover and equipment they used for gathering the samples too.
 and the replicated moon scape.

 I had recently saw the movie 'Gravity' and after being here and reading about how dangerous everything was - jut made me appreciate the movie all the more.  Especially when you see how tiny most of it is and how little room there truly is to do things.
 After we were done we left the town going by the port of Houston.  I sometimes forget that Houston has a port and that is why it became such a big city because of all the stuff that is done in association with the port.
 And here's another view of the main shipping channel.

It was a good trip and it was well worth the time and effort to go see the  NASA Space Center.  After seeing it - It makes you proud to be an American and to know that our citizens were the ones to put the first man on the moon.