Day 12, One Small Step

Our reason for staying at Kemah was to visit the Houston Space Center, which is only 15 minutes away.  We were pleasantly surprised to find electric vehicle parking with charging at the Space Center. Yessir happily sucked in some juice while we were inside.  We arrived, along with lots of other people, right at 10:00am when it opened. Our first destination was the Tram Tour that took us onto the grounds of the Johnson Space Center next door.  Our first stop was Mission Control. We were able to go into a viewing area above one of the old mission control rooms. They currently use this room for training purposes. Since there was a space walk currently going on, the video from the space walk was playing on most of the screens.  We watched as the astronaut fumbled around trying to put a tool back into a bin that wouldn’t close. The bin kept opening and the tool kept floating back out.

After viewing Mission Control, we got to walk through a gallery above the Crew Training Facility.  Here they have mock-ups of various parts of the space station. Crew can use them to train for various situations they might encounter when on the space station.  At one end, a group was working on a humanoid robot. Our final stop on the Tram Tour was Rocket Park. Outside were 2 rockets, I don’t remember what kind. Inside the massive shed was one of the last surviving Saturn V rockets.  We could walk all the way around it and pose for pictures near its massiveness. It really was a huge machine! Amazing that they sent all that up into space and each one was single use only.

After the Tram Tour we had a little lunch in the food court inside the Houston Space Center. There was lots more to see inside the center.  Rob was especially interested in the old computing equipment that NASA used to use. Mom enjoyed checking out the different types of space suits used throughout the years.  We were all fascinated by the story of the astronaut who almost drowned on a spacewalk in 2013.

For dinner, Mom, Dad, and I ate at the Flying Dutchman on the Kemah Boardwalk.  The food was so, so. The entertainment was a pair of brawling cats. We sat outside along the boardwalk and a pair of cats came over shortly after we sat down; an all black cat with bright yellow eyes and a brown stripy cat that sort of looked like Jon.  The brown one turned out to be a meany! Several times he attacked the black cat, grabbing him by the back of the neck and wrestling him to the ground. They would howl at each other and tussle about for a bit, then separate and lie down peacefully, each watching the other.  Surprisingly, the restaurant staff didn’t do anything to shoo the cats away.

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