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1/10/14 - VIP's at NASA

40' deep pool where astronauts in training learn to work in a gravity free environment
Orion Capsule, which will be used for Mars Exploration

Since we are so close to Houston and since Marty is a bit of a space geek we decided to take the VIP tour at NASA.   They only take 12 people on each of these tours and they only have one of these tours a day except for Friday when they do two.  We signed up for the 11:45 tour on Friday.  I wasn't crazy about going on this tour, I am not much of a space person and have already toured the Kennedy Space Center but we'll probably never have this opportunity again so with some trepidation I decided to go.  We took lots of pictures and
I did try to put the photos in chronological order but it wasn't working out so well as you can tell.

It was amazing!!   We were able to go places at the Johnson Space Center that the regular tourist is not allowed to see.    We got to sit in the cockpit of the space shuttle!!   We got to see current mission control for the space station and watch the workers at their desks and THEN, my very favorite thing, we went in to the old mission control for the Apollo program and I got to sit at the Flight Director's desk, that's where the speaker is that transmitted some of the most famous words from outer space:   "Houston, we have a problem" and "The eagle has landed".    It gave me the chills (and made me want to watch Apollo 13 again, I have a whole new appreciation of the Space Program).   If you ever have the opportunity to do this we would highly recommend it.

Sitting in the old Mission Control Center, note the speaker under the left monitor where the historic words were transmitted 

 This man, David Cisco is one of only two people who worked on the Apollo missions and is still working at the Johnson Space Center.  The mirror, which was flown on Aquarius LM-7 to the moon in April of 1970  was returned by a grateful Apollo 13 crew to "reflect the image" of the people in Mission Control who got us back.   They had it hung over the water fountain so that every time they got a drink of water they would remember the gratitude of the Apollo Crew -  Lovell, Swigert, and Haise.

Sitting in the cockpit of the Space Shuttle   

Two Nasa space suits, note the gold face shields

"Selfie" taken in the reflection of the gold face shield

Next generation robot explorers

Space Shuttle Training Center