Space Center Houston is a place where people can experience space — from its dramatic history and exciting present to its compelling future. Space Center Houston is the only place on Earth that gives guests an out-of-this-world journey through human adventures into space.Space Center Houston’s unparalleled exhibits, attractions, special presentations and hands-on activities tell the story of NASA’s manned space flight program. SCH is the only place in the world where visitors can see astronauts train for missions, touch a real moon rock, land a shuttle, and take a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA.At Space Center Houston, guests can understand the past, experience the present, and be a part of the future of the space Program.
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Well, This place represents space and NASA in ways the builders probably didnt ever imagine. Like many NASA projects the cost is 2-3 times what it should cost to enter. And there is not a real focus on what is going on or how to get you to where you want to go.
And talk about space! when you walk in there is a giant open hall that has almost nothing in it and very little to do with what is there.
There are some great things to find here, (moon rock, space capsules, space suits) but you need to search for it. But the way it is presented adds almost nothing to the item. the tours are great, but the payoff is not worth the the wait. It is cool to see a little of Johnson Space Center, but with the way NASA is right now, there is not much action.
Ultimately It is a perfect example of our current space program, It started out to be a museum, they have all the kinds of space artifacts to make it great, but then it turned and they wanted it to be a theme park but they didn't end up being that either because there are no rides or adrenalin excitement kinds of stuff. They have the big space when you come in to show off new features and things, but then they got distracted and built a giant mcdonalds playhouse, and with that the hall exhibits are mostly kid stuff whatever they think is cool at the time (Angry Birds(the game), a slime lab, a lego thing) and only 4-10ish kids are interested in it.
This place has become a tourist trap or a place for local people to get a season pass and take their elementary age kids to play in the ball pit.
Good museum: not really
Adventure: not really
Huge spaces made to accommodate mass numbers of people who aren't there: totally
Over-sized McDonald's playhouse: yes
Worth a road-trip: nope
worth a stop along the way: maybe, if you have kids under 10
While there are a few neat things to see, most of it has nothing to do with space and is just a giant tourist trap. The best things to do are the tours in my opinion, go see the control centers and the old rockets/spacecraft. Skip the giant jungle gym and the Spongebob exhibits.
Agreed. This place costs $6 for parking, then $30 entry fee, but that only gets you in the door, if you want to try out any of the rides or simulators, it costs $6-10 extra per ride. Then if you actually want to see the spaceships, then you have to but a tram tour, which takes an hour and you have to wait in line for the tram to collect you, depending on how many people there are you could be waiting a really long time. Way over priced
Wow. There are some pretty harsh reviews here. Having just been to the Space Center, I can honestly say the negativity is rather exaggerated. The complaints about the kid-related stuff are absurd. It's only part of what's offered. What you will find is an honest effort to provide an experience for everyone at any age.
As you can imagine, they get a ton of school groups. We saw both real young kids and a busload wearing National Honor Society t-shirts. The young kids were being entertained -- and educated in a way they won't soon forget -- by a woman who was energetically explaining advanced principles of physics with very impressive visual demonstrations that evoked everything from oohs and ahs to downright squeals and laughter from her young audience. There was also a section of the museum that was clearly intended for this younger crowd, which we skipped.
For the older kids and for us with considerably more years under our belts, there was plenty of great museum exhibits and artifacts. I found myself staring in awe at an exhibit of damaged shielding materials, like the very thick piece of metal plate with a crater in it that was caused by a small piece of plastic debris that struck it at something like 60,000 mph. Other exhibits and artifacts covered all aspects of nearly 60 years of space exploration, from the original 1950s satellites through the early Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, the space shuttles, the international space station, and right into the current planning for Mars.
For me, who as a kid remembers that incredible moment watching Neil Armstrong on a black and white t.v. stepping on the moon, the highlight was sitting in the very same visitors gallery once reserved for dignitaries and astronaut families looking through the glass window directly into the actual mission control room we saw on all those missions in the 60s and 70s. What I found really amazing was learning that the five rooms of mainframe computers used for the moon missions had between them in total the same amount of memory that today is used by just seven photos on a cell phone!
There are a few tips I can pass on. We went on a weekday when the crowd was smaller. We found out that the school groups all come in the morning, so plan to come in the late morning and start by looking at the exhibits. Then take the tram tours after the kids leave. There are two tram tours. If you have time for only one, take the blue tour that goes to mission control. Both go to rocket park where you can walk around the massive Saturn rocket used in the Apollo missions. Also, your AAA card will get you $5 off each admission.
In the end, what you experience depends entirely on your own attitude walking in, and maybe a little research and pre-planning to know what you want to make sure you don't want to miss. I feel sorry for the people here who got so bothered about what I consider relatively minor issues, that they missed out on fully appreciating a truly unique American historical experience!
Not at all what we expected. Small and not much to experience.. it's a single floor with a gift shop and a few simulator rides.. there was one tour that was nice. We planned to stay for the night on our way to LA, but could totally skip this whole thing and spend another day in NOLA..
The tram tours are very interesting, you can visit mission control and the mock up facility. They give you tons of info about space and NASA.
Nightmare. You pay to park. You pay to get in. And then if you haven't booked a week ahead, you can't do anything. Handicapped parking was severely lacking. It was slam packed with people on a weekday and there was nothing appropriate for younger kids. I'm a huge space buff, and smaller NASA space centers have done it better. This was the Disney of space centers, in all the terrible ways that implies.
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Agreed with the review below, I really expected something more, if NASA wants more public support, they need to support public education more, and make it more accessible to average families. It's overpriced! I shouldn't have to pay for the tours. My tax dollars are already being used and I should be able to see that without paying almost $100 for a better tour. It does have a theme park feel, without the theme park thrills.
I must have seen a different space center, or maybe they added stuff. I found upon entering that the main hall had a lot to do. They have a section dedicated to the ISS where we got to see a performance on ISS life with stuff from the ISS around us. There was plenty of things to see, although they did have quite a bit of it requiring extra pay which I just ignored. There was plenty to see without paying extra. I went over to the kid section which was interesting, but not very exciting for me. (My kid is 1 and a half, so he couldn't play with most of it yet.)
The real fun came with the tours. You can go to the front desk to schedule a tram tour (I think you pay to reserve a spot), or you can wait in line for free. I just waited in line for about 3 minutes and got on one... I did one where they took us to see the Saturn V rocket and the Training Center. It was amazing. Sure, if you are not much into space or NASA, this might not be exciting, see a few buildings, and walk around a bit. However, I found the whole experience amazing. They had new things out from SpaceX and Orbital which the astronauts were training with, and this weird spider robot which I assume will be used when they go to mars.
The audio tour is available, which I recommend getting because it gives you some excellent insight on the hidden stuff there. There were exhibits on the walls which I didn't know was even there, and the audio tour explained what they were and how they played into the space race.
I am going back to do the Level 9 tour, which gives you a more in depth tour, although I have to wait for my next road trip time for that.
Pros: Lots to do if you actually look around, tram tours are free (which seems to be a confusion point apparently. only the Level 9 tour is pay)
Cons: You do have to pay for some of the attractions and simulators.
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- Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sun, Sat: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
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