This is the new building that they built around the Atlantis shuttle. It is only about a year old. I was blown away by it's design. It was pretty cool! This is a replica of the rocket boosters and external tank.
The external tank from below.
Little Mr. wasn't so sure and clung to me as we walked under the tank.
Looking up at the rocket boosters and tank gave you the weirdest feeling. The clouds were moving quickly, so it tricked your mind into thinking that the rockets and tank were actually moving. It was so crazy.
Inside the building we watched a video on the history of the shuttle. Then we moved into this room, where there were screens all around us. It was amazing. At the end of the show, lights were shone on the front screen and slowly the real space shuttle Atlantis came into view through the screen. Then the screen went up, and you could walk out and see it for yourself.
A replica of the cockpit. You couldn't actually go inside the shuttle.
Little Mr. and I made our way through a clear tunnel suspended a kajillion feet in the air. ;) Okay, it wasn't a kajillion, but it was pretty high!
We bought a metal pull-back Atlantis shuttle. :)
Garden of Rockets
Vintage space toys in the museum.
One of these guys is not like the other!
We bought tickets to have lunch with an astronaut. Our astronaut was Jack Lousma. Each crew makes their own video of their mission, so he showed us a video made up of clips from one of the times he was in space, and explained what was going on. It was very entertaining.
After lunch we made our way to the Angry Birds Space Encounter which was right up Little Mr.'s alley. ;)
Mid sling-shot launch.
Trying freeze dried "space" ice cream for the first time.
It was a hit! He recognized it as ice cream right away even though it wasn't cold.
We went back to the Atlantis building for another look, and The Mr. rode in a simulator as well, which he highly suggests doing yourself if you ever visit the space center.
During our lunch with an astronaut, there were actually two other astronauts at the table right next to ours who also answered questions during the question and answer period of the luncheon. Later we saw Tom Jones again so we stopped to buy his book, get it signed and get a photo taken. I think the boys will be glad we got this photo when they are old enough to understand that this man walked in space. Kind of fun.
They have a large play structure there for the kids to burn off some energy.
We were thankful for the beautiful, dry weather because rain had been in the forecast!