Space Center Houston

The Official Visitors Center of NASA's Johnson Space Center

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

Space Center Houston Is Houston’s First Smithsonian Affiliate 

October Is Month of Historic ‘Firsts’ in Space 

HOUSTON, Oct. 8, 2014 – It’s another first for Houston and Space Center Houston as the nonprofit museum becomes the first Smithsonian Affiliate in the city. The center celebrates a “month of firsts” by opening a new exhibition today about the first voyages into deep space. 

Smithsonian AffiliateThe new status grants access to the national archive of more than 138 million artifacts, specimens and works of art, as well as entree to more than 50 traveling exhibitions developed by the Smithsonian Institution. 

“We are delighted to launch our first Houston affiliate partnership with Space Center Houston, an organization that has done so much to honor and preserve the history of space flight,” said Harold A. Closter, Smithsonian Affiliations director. “This new partnership builds on a solid foundation of prior collaboration, artifact loans and scholarly exchange and will address ways that we can work together to inspire a new generation to dream, explore, and further the boundaries of knowledge.” 

The national recognition and exposure for Space Center Houston is expected to increase annual visits, boosting the center’s current $45 million annual impact on the greater Houston area. In addition, Houstonians can look forward to Smithsonian exhibitions and programs. 

“Space Center Houston is proud to be the first Smithsonian affiliate in Houston,” said Richard E. Allen Jr., president and CEO of Space Center Houston. “This is a result of our continuous dedication to preserving the unique history of space exploration and sharing NASA’s bold vision to expand humanity’s presence into deep space. This affiliation will help us to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration.” 

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park. Learn more at www.spacecenter.org

The “month of firsts” launches with The Next Giant Leap: Beyond Planet Earth, presented by the City of Webster. Open today, this all new exhibition explores how humanity will take its first steps towards living and working in deep space, independent of the Earth. This is the first exhibition of the center’s “Next Giant Leap” 2014-15 season of educational programs and exhibits aligned with NASA’s deep-space exploration initiatives. 

October is the month of many historic firsts in space. During past Octobers, both NASA (1958) and Space Center Houston (1992) began operations and launches occurred of the first satellite Sputnik I (1957), the first NASA satellite Pioneer 1 (1958) and NASA’s first crewed Apollo mission (Apollo 7, 1968). 

Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. More information is available at www.affiliations.si.edu

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, which USA Today called “The Big Draw” in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and a $45 million economic impact on the greater Houston area. It is the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center and draws more than 100,000 teachers and students annually from around the world. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org

SOURCE: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. 

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INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES ON OCT. 8: 

  • Richard E. Allen Jr., President and CEO, Space Center Houston 
  • Harold Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations 


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Beyond Planet Earth Exhibit
Beyond Planet Earth Exhibit
Beyond Planet Earth Exhibit
Photo Cutlines (PDF)

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

Exhibit Offers Glimpse of Future Space Travel 

HOUSTON, Oct. 2, 2014 – While achievements in space exploration make up an important part of Space Center Houston’s newest exhibit, almost every element of The Next Giant Leap: Beyond Planet Earth invites visitors to contemplate where humans will go from here. 

The exhibit, which is sponsored by the city of Webster, opens Oct. 8 and continues through Jan. 18, 2015. Its hands-on elements offer a vision for the next 50 to 100 years of space travel: voyages to Mars, asteroid landings and even a trip to an ice-covered moon of Jupiter, where a buried sea could reveal signs of life. 

“There’s a sense as you progress through this exhibit that destinations throughout our solar system, and the many systems beyond it, are nearly within our grasp,” said Dr. Melanie Johnson, Space Center Houston’s director of education and exhibits. “I’m confident this experience will capture our visitors’ imaginations and inspire future explorers.” 

The Next Giant Leap: Beyond Planet Earth has been organized by the American Museum of Natural Science in collaboration with MadaTech: the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space, in Haifa, Israel and comprises six immersive environments: 

 

  • History of Space Exploration features replica space artifacts such as Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite and Vostok 1 space capsule that boosted Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, into orbit. 
  • Returning to the Moon guests will explore a scale model of a possible space habitat while learning about the possibility of creating a semi-permanent lunar research station. 
  • Near-Earth Asteroids includes a recreation of the Japanese spacecraft that rendezvoused with a near-Earth asteroid to collect samples. Using touch-screen interactive technology, visitors can explore ‘what if’ scenarios for deflecting a “doomsday” asteroid. 
  • Voyaging to Mars includes a full-scale replica of Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory Rover, and interactive terra-forming simulation. Here, guests will learn first-hand how astronauts might eat, sleep and exercise during their journey to the Red Planet. 
  • Reaching the Outer Solar System features a replica of the robotic submersible that could be sent to the Jupiter moon, Europa, to explore its icy oceans. 
  • Beyond our Solar System is a look at the thousands of solar systems discovered by scientists and the promise of life their planets hold. 

 

This exhibit is included with paid admission to Space Center Houston and is part of the non-profits Next Giant Leap 2014-15 education and exhibits season which focuses on what NASA is working on now and in the future. More information is available at www.spacecenter.org

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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, which USA Today called “The Big Draw” in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and a $45 million economic impact on the greater Houston area. It is the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center and draws more than 100,000 teachers and students annually from around the world. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org

SOURCE: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. 


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Space Center Houston

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

The Next Giant Leap Season Blasts Off

HOUSTON, Sept. 24, 2014 – NASA says the first humans who will walk on Mars are walking on Earth today. In the spirit of exploration, visitors are invited to discover the pathway to Mars during The Next Giant Leap 2014-15 educational and exhibit season, only at the nonprofit Space Center Houston.

“Our goal is to show the public what NASA is doing now and in the future as it prepares for deep-space exploration,” said Dr. Melanie Johnson, Space Center Houston’s director of education and exhibits. “We want visitors to feel excitement and pride in NASA’s work when they hear the amazing story at our center.”

This season-long celebration will allow visitors to experience first-hand the wonder of exploration and the innovation of America’s human space flight program. The center has planned a rich line up of exhibits, special events and programs designed specifically with experiences the entire family will enjoy. Here are just a few of the upcoming events.

  • Oct. 8 – The Next Giant Leap: Beyond Planet Earth (fall exhibit opens)
  • Oct. 16 – Home School Day: Red Dust Leading to Endless Possibilities
  • Oct. 31 – Aliens and Asteroids
  • Nov. 14 – Global Student Summit Kick-off Party
  • Dec. 4 – Orion Launch Party 
  • Feb. 5-7 – Space Exploration Educators Conference
  • Feb. 19 – Unbelievable Universe: The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not (spring exhibit opens)
  • March 14 – Pi Day
  • March 14-22 – Ultimate Spring Break
  • April 18 – Earth Day family event
  • April 22 – Earth Day Student Challenge
  • May 1-2, 8, 15, 22 and 29 – May the Force Be With You (special activities the first Saturday and every Friday in May)
  • May 23 – Space: A Journey to Our Future (summer exhibit opens)
  • June 15-20 – Global Student Summit: Mars Trekkers 1
  • July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 – Train Like an Astronaut (every Wednesday in July)
  • July 25 – Train Like an Astronaut family event

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 space museum with an extensive science education program. The cornerstone of its science education mission is Space Center Houston, which USA Today called “The Big Draw” in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and a $45 million economic impact on the greater Houston area. It is the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center and draws more than 100,000 teachers and students annually from around the world. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.

SOURCE: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc.


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

Home-School Day of Learning Has Special Space Twist 

HOUSTON, Aug. 22, 2014 – Home studies take “one giant leap” during a special Home-School Day with a space twist called “Red Dust Leading to Endless Possibilities.” The special event is slated 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday Oct. 16, at Space Center Houston, a nonprofit education foundation. 

This exclusive educational opportunity offers home-school families multiple activities that use national science education standards. Unique because it uses space science as a theme, it features immersive, hands-on experiences for all grade levels. Workshops offer parents an opportunity to improve their teaching skills and include a Spanish-speaking trainer. 

Ticket prices are $10.95 through Oct. 2; $12.95 Oct. 3-15; and $22.95 day of event. A meal option is available for $8.95. More information about this event may be found at www.spacecenter.org

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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, which USA Today called “The Big Draw” in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and a $45 million economic impact on the greater Houston area. It is the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center and draws more than 100,000 teachers and students annually from around the world. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org

SOURCE: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. 


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

One Small Step – One Big Lift 

Shuttle Replica Independence Lifted Atop Historic Shuttle Carrier Aircraft 

HOUSTON, Aug. 14, 2014 – The world’s attention was again focused on Houston today as the space shuttle replica Independence was hoisted by crane to its permanent home atop the nonprofit Space Center Houston’s historic shuttle carrier aircraft. The free public event “Rise of Independence” marked another chapter in the ongoing story of Space Center Houston’s future one-of-a-kind international landmark exhibit. 

“This exhibit might be housed at Space Center Houston, but this is YOUR exhibit and YOUR history,” Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Chairman of the Board Fred Griffin passionately told the assembled crowd. “Join the mission and help support this future world treasure.” The nonprofit education foundation needs to raise a final $2.2 million in order to complete the $12 million educational project. 

Space Center Houston President and CEO Richard Allen Jr. presided over the opening ceremony preceding the lift where speakers included NASA Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa, who spoke of her excitement in seeing the legacy of the space shuttle program preserved through this exciting new educational exhibit. 

Former astronaut and retired USAF Col. Eileen Collins, the first woman to pilot and command a space shuttle, spoke of the educational value of the future exhibits and the importance of developing a STEM-based workforce to succeed in the global economy. These comments were echoed by University of Houston-Clear Lake President Dr. William Staples, who also referenced a 2010 university-conducted study which determined that Space Center Houston provides a $45 million annual economic impact to the greater Houston area. This same study determined that the shuttle exhibit alone is expected to increase this impact, both long-term and during construction. 

Just before 8 a.m. members of the Bay Area Youth Symphony were joined by Friendswood resident Timothy Judd (who previously won the contest to name the shuttle replica the Independence) to led the crowd in a T-minus-10 countdown to start the massive crane from Mammoet. With the August sun rising in the east, the crowd of several thousand watched in amazement as Independence was lifted gently and placed upon the historic Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft where it ultimately will become a destination for visitors from around the world. 

Those wishing to give are invited to join the many generous donors in honoring the remarkable story of the shuttle program and celebrating our nation’s space shuttle program by texting “Shuttle747” to 41444 today or visiting www.spacecenter.org/giving. More information about this event may be found at www.spacecenter.org/look-up-in-the-sky

Event B-roll and photos, interviews and speaker bios may be downloaded at http://bit.ly/1lVMvds

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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, which USA Today called “The Big Draw” in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and a $45 million economic impact on the greater Houston area. It is the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center and draws more than 100,000 teachers and students annually from around the world. 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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