6 places to touch down for an out-of-this-world experience in Space City

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor
Houston Museum of Natural Science

Only a few privileged individuals get to experience space up close and not just as a video, photo or headlines, but now the Houston Museum of Natural Science is doing the impossible.

HOUSTON - Houston, aka Space City, is the place to be if you want to explore space travel and the science behind it. There are plenty of places around the city that give people the opportunity to experience the moon, stars, and space in a unique way.

From rockets to a moon replica, these are the spots touch down in Houston:

Space Center Houston

For the ultimate space experience, visit Space Center Houston. There, people can learn about space travel, the moon and more through a variety of experiences and exhibits. One of the most popular exhibits is the Independence Plaza, where visitors can go inside a shuttle replica and the original shuttle carrier aircraft. Tickets range from $24.95 to $29.95 depending on age. Children under 3 get in free.

NASA Johnson Space Center

Don’t leave the Space Center without taking a NASA Tram Tour. The tour will take you on site at the NASA Johnson Space Center. There, visitors can get a close, behind-the-scenes look at space exploration, including training facilities, mission control, and an actual rocket. The tram tours are included with the purchase of a general admission ticket to Space Center Houston.

George Observatory

Stargazers wanting to marvel at the night sky can head to the observatory at Brazos Bend State Park. There, people can take a close look at the stars without light pollution from the city. The observatory also has a planetarium available Saturday night from 3:30 to 9 p.m. Entrance to the park costs $7 for adults and kids under 12 are free. Tickets for the telescope and planetarium are $10 and $3.50 respectively. 

James Turrell's "Twilight Epiphany" Skyspace

If you want to enjoy the Houston sunset or sunrise with a unique twist, this is the spot to be. The skyspace is open to the public Wednesday through Monday. According to the website, the structure “is equipped with an LED light sequence that projects onto the ceiling and through an aperture in the 72-foot square knife-edge roof during sunrise and at sunset.” The lights start 10 minutes before sunrise and sunset. 

“Moon” exhibit at the HMNS

We can’t all be astronauts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience to moon up close. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, the Houston Museum of Natural science is featuring “Moon” by Luke Jerram. The exhibit is located in the Alfred C Glassell Jr. Hall and is about 23 feet in diameter. It gives people the opportunity to take a close look at some lunar features, including Apollo 11’s original landing spot. The exhibit is included with the purchase of a regular admission ticket.

InFocus photographic experience

While you are at the HMSN, stop by the InFocus: A Museum Photographic Experience exhibit. According to the website, the new space was inspired by pop-up art museum concepts. There are four rooms, and each one features a different aesthetic appeal, including ancient Egypt, underwater, dinosaur and outer space. The exhibit is touted at the perfect place for an Instagram photo.

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