Space Center Houston

The Official Visitors Center of NASA's Johnson Space Center

Facing Mars Exhibit
Facing Mars Exhibit
Facing Mars Exhibit
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Media Contact: Michael Wampler, office (281) 244-2136; cell (281) 684-1729; [email protected]

If You Could Travel to Mars, Would You Go?

HOUSTON, May 20, 2014 – The challenges of a human mission to Mars are as big as any humans have faced. We know that we can get there, but will we be able to survive? How will we solve the many challenges? What will happen when we push our bodies and minds far beyond any place we have been before?

Starting this Saturday, May 24, visitors will be asked these simple questions at Space Center Houston’s new exhibit “Facing Mars.” Focusing on the real-life obstacles of sending humans to Mars, this groundbreaking exhibition, developed and designed by the Ontario Science Centre, shows visitors how the challenges of a Mars mission aren’t limited to technology or money. It asks questions associated with traveling to Mars for which there currently are no known answers. It also engages participants in the physical, psychological and scientific challenges that come with interplanetary travel.

“From the start, our team of scientists and designers set out to create an exhibit focused not solely on what we know, but on what we don’t know – yet.” says Dr. Devon Hamilton, senior scientist and exhibit developer, Ontario Science Centre. “We are showcasing problems with no set solutions, because to get to Mars we have to develop entirely new ways of thinking.”

This exhibition offers 28 interactive stations with three broad themes:

 

  • On the Surface of Mars: Explore some of the aspects of the technology needed for Mars exploration, from puzzle-solving robotic rovers to testing space gloves, to experimenting with glider designs. Get a flyover view of the Martian landscape; and explore the challenges of living on the surface of Mars from determining a sustainable and healthy menu to the problems posed by dust.
  • Psychological Challenges: How do you select a crew for what may be a lethal adventure? How are crew members affected by crowding and isolation? What role does non-verbal communication play in the emotional health of astronauts?
  • Physical Challenges: Explore the challenges of keeping a crew alive during a long spaceflight, to dealing with the realities of the prolonged microgravity exposure on astronauts’ bones. Design, test and launch a model rocket; examine the puzzle of protecting astronauts from lethal radiation.

 

“Unlike other space exhibits, ‘Facing Mars’ isn’t just about visiting another planet; it’s about exploring whether humans have the ingenuity to solve the fundamental challenges of the next phase of space travel and exploration,” says Paul Spana, Space Center Houston’s exhibits manager.

Ticket prices are $22.95 for adults, $21.95 for seniors (65+) and $18.95 for children (3-11). Visitors can save $5 by buying in advance online at www.spacecenter.org, or by visiting one of several Houston-area promotional partner locations. See Space Center Houston website for details.

This limited-engagement exhibit runs through Sept 1, 2014 and is included with paid admission to Space Center Houston. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to www.spacecenter.org.

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The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with an extensive science education program and a space museum. The cornerstone of its science education mission is Space Center Houston, one of the top attractions in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.

SOURCE: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc.


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Facing Mars Exhibit
Facing Mars Exhibit
Facing Mars Exhibit
Photo Cutlines (PDF)

Media Contact: Michael Wampler, office (281) 244-2136; cell (281) 684-1729; [email protected]

If You Could Travel to Mars, Would You Go?

What: Space Center Houston’s new exhibit “Facing Mars” will take visitors on a voyage of discovery, challenging them to test limits and venture to new frontiers. In one visit, participants will be able to become an astronaut-in-training, a planetary geologist and a spacecraft technician through this new interactive exhibition that focuses on the real-life challenges of sending humans to Mars. This limited-engagement exhibit runs through Sept. 1 and is included with paid admission to Space Center Houston. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to www.spacecenter.org.

When: Daily May 24-Sept. 1, 2014

Where: Space Center Houston, 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058 Ticket prices: $22.95 for adults, $21.95 for seniors (65+), $18.95 for children (3-11).

Visitors can save $5 by buying in advance online at www.spacecenter.org or by visiting one of several Houston-area promotional partner locations.

Why: “Unlike other space exhibits, “Facing Mars” isn’t just about visiting another planet; it’s about exploring whether humans have the ingenuity to solve the fundamental challenges of the next phase of space travel and exploration,” says Paul Spana, Space Center Houston’s exhibits manager.

# # #

The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with an extensive science education program and a space museum. The cornerstone of its science education mission is Space Center Houston, one of the top attractions in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.

SOURCE: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc.


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Dr. Melanie Johnson
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Media Contact: Michael Wampler, office 281-244-2136; cell 281-684-1729; [email protected]

Space Center Houston Director Will Receive National Museum Award

HOUSTON, May 15, 2014 – The education director of the nonprofit Space Center Houston will receive a national award of excellence Monday, May 19, at the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting and Museum Expo in Seattle, Wash.

Dr. Melanie Johnson has earned the 2014 Nancy Hanks Memorial Award for Professional Excellence. The award honors a museum professional with less than 10 years of experience in the field.

“Dr. Melanie Johnson is living proof of what museums, committed as they are to our common educational mission, can accomplish,” said AAM president Ford W. Bell. “Yet the positive impact museums have everywhere, every day, is due to the people who work in them. I have been privileged to meet innumerable dedicated museum professionals, and Dr. Johnson sets the standard for our entire field.”

Johnson is an integral part of the team that has transformed Space Center Houston, making it a vibrant, effective, authoritative museum for the history of space flight. And she has done all this with less than five years both on the job and in the museum field. Johnson came to Space Flight Houston after a successful career in higher education administration. Her influence extends beyond the museum’s walls, as her educational initiatives have made a profound impact on Houston schools. Johnson’s mantra − “The art of happiness is serving all people” − has inspired her colleagues at Space Center Houston.

“She has been able to [spark] an unprecedented cultural shift in the organization, [one] that would render it a transformative leader in space education delivery,” wrote Paula McCann Harris in her nomination of Johnson. Harris is a board member of the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation, which owns and operates the Space Center Houston museum. She chairs its education committee. Harris also is a board trustee of Houston Independent School District. Johnson holds a doctorate of education from Texas Southern University and previously worked at The Art Institute of Houston and Galveston (Texas) College.

First given in 1985, the Nancy Hank Memorial Award recognizes a specific achievement that has benefitted either the honoree’s home institution or the museum field in general. The cited achievement may be in any area of a museum’s operation: administration, exhibitions, education, public relations, registration, collections management or development. Alternatively, the accomplishment may benefit the museum field generally (for instance, a development plan, membership plan, exhibition design, or collection policy that can serve as a model for other museums).

The award commemorates the lifelong support by the late Nancy Hanks of cultural endeavors, and in particular her encouragement of young professionals in the cultural arena. Nancy Hanks served eight exceptional years as chair of the National Endowment of the Arts, among other accomplishments.

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The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit space museum with an extensive science education program. The cornerstone of its science education mission is Space Center Houston, one of the top attractions in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.

SOURCE: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc.

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. With more than 21,000 individual, 3,500 institutional and 300 corporate members, the Alliance is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

AAM Media Contact: Dewey Blanton 202-218-7704; [email protected]


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Media Contact: Communications Department (281) 244-2122; [email protected]

B-Roll, Photos Now Available from 747 Convoy Second Night

HOUSTON, April 30, 2014 (3 a.m.) – Space Center Houston has made footage of the last overnight move of its historic Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft (SCA) available to the press.

The convoy is expected to arrive at Space Center Houston early this morning, after leaving last night to travel down NASA Parkway from Highway 3.

The B-roll footage can be downloaded here:
www.imageresourcesgroup.com/media/schbigmove.zip

Interview and sound bites can be downloaded here:
www.imageresourcesgroup.com/media/schbigmove_interviews.zip

Photographs can be downloaded here:
www.imageresourcesgroup.com/media/schbigmove_pics.zip

An interactive road map showing road barricades and the full route, along with more information on the move and the 747, is on Space Center Houston’s website at www.spacecenter.org/bigmove. Visitors to the page can see the convoy’s location because of a GPS tracking device on the main fuselage which is linked to the map.

Notes for editors:

Crawling at the speed of a person walking, 3 miles per hour, the jumbo jet moved nearly two miles last night and nearly six miles the night before. The center is working in partnership with more than 30 public, private and government agencies, many of whom gave their services at little or no charge.

The Boeing 747 SCA and space shuttle replica Independence will be joined to become an international landmark, opening in 2015. The attraction will stand over eight stories tall and feature interactive educational exhibits inside the shuttle and jumbo jet. Visitors will enter the shuttle while it is mounted in the ferry configuration over 60 feet off the ground – an experience unique in the world. The exhibit will explore the remarkable history of the shuttle program and how it is shaping current NASA initiatives to explore asteroids, the moon, Mars and beyond.

# # #

The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with an extensive science education program and a space museum. The cornerstone of its science education mission is Space Center Houston, one of the top attractions in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.

SOURCE: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc.


Read More - Press Release

Media Contact: Communications Department (281) 244-2122; [email protected]

B-Roll, Photos Now Available from 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft Convoy

HOUSTON, April 29, 2014 (3 a.m.) – Space Center Houston has made footage of the first overnight move of its historic Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft (SCA) available to the press.

The convoy is still en route on the first leg of the two-leg journey with an expected arrival of approximately 4:30-5 a.m. today on Commerce Street near the corner of Texas Highway 3 and NASA Parkway. It will park there during the day and began the last trip tonight to Space Center Houston. The convoy began moving last night after Highway 3 was closed at 9 p.m. from Scarsdale to NASA Parkway.

The footage can be downloaded here:
http://www.imageresourcesgroup.com/media/schbigmove.zip

Photographs can be downloaded here:
www.imageresourcesgroup.com/media/schbigmove_pics.zip

An interactive road map showing road barricades and the full route, along with more information on the move and the 747, is on Space Center Houston’s website at www.spacecenter.org/bigmove. Visitors to the page can see the convoy’s location because of a GPS tracking device on the main fuselage which is linked to the map.

Notes for editors:

Crawling at the speed of a person walking, 3 miles per hour, the jumbo jet is moving nearly six miles on Monday night/Tuesday morning, and two miles on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. It arrives early Wednesday morning at Space Center Houston. The center is working in partnership with more than 30 public, private and government agencies, many of whom gave their services at little or no charge.

The Boeing 747 SCA and space shuttle replica Independence will be joined to become an international landmark, opening in 2015. The attraction will stand over eight stories tall and feature interactive educational exhibits inside the shuttle and jumbo jet. Visitors will enter the shuttle while it is mounted in the ferry configuration over 60 feet off the ground – an experience unique in the world. The exhibit will explore the remarkable history of the shuttle program and how it is shaping current NASA initiatives to explore asteroids, the moon, Mars and beyond.

# # #

The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with an extensive science education program and a space museum. The cornerstone of its science education mission is Space Center Houston, one of the top attractions in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.

SOURCE: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc.


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Location:

Space Center Houston is located at:
1601 NASA Parkway
Houston, TX 77058
approximately 25 miles South of downtown Houston in the NASA/Clear Lake area.

©2011-2014 Space Center Houston, All Rights Reserved.
Space Center Houston is the Official Visitors Center of NASA's Johnson Space Center which is the home of astronaut training and Mission Control.
We are a seperate 501(c)(3) organization, not a government agency.
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