Space Center Houston
History and museums
Space Center Houston is the official visitor center of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center—the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) center for human spaceflight activities—located in Houston, Texas. The facility is operated by the nonprofit Manned Spaceflight Educational Foundation Incorporated with design input from Walt Disney Imagineering. and designed by award winning experience designer Bob Rogers (designer) and the design team BRC Imagination Arts.
Space Center Houston is home to space artifacts and hardware including:
These artifacts (except Skylab) were formerly housed in the Johnson Space Center's former Visitor Center in Building 2.
A restored Saturn V, on loan from the Smithsonian, is on display after it sat exposed to outdoor elements from 1977 through 2004, leading to exterior weather damage and plants, molds, and small animals inside the stages. In 2004 the Smithsonian took over and began efforts to restore the vehicle through a grant from the National Park Service's Save America's Treasures program and the National Trust for Historic Preservation along with private contributions
On July 31, 2013, the Space Center formally unveiled the restored full-scale Shuttlecraft mockup from Star Trek: The Original Series.
The Space Center is also the home of the Space Shuttle Independence mockup. Formerly known as Explorer, Independence was previously located at the Kennedy Space Center, but was moved to make way for a new permanent attraction hall for Space Shuttle Atlantis. Independence is now displayed atop the retired Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, NASA 905. On August 14, 2014, a heavy lift was completed to place Independence on top of NASA 905, which had been moved to Space Center Houston from Ellington Field on April 30, 2014. The center plans to open the combined exhibit in 2015 at an estimated cost of US$12 million.