Today began with early rise, around half past 7 and we headed to get something to eat. We were booked on the exclusive Level 9 Tour at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston.
We got there just after 9 and got the ticket. We had a look around the visitor centre and the gift shop. The tour begun by getting on a bus and it took us to see a Saturn V rocket which was separated at each stage to let you see inside. The second stop was the Sonny Carter Training Centre.
This is the largest neutral neutral gravity pool. It is 40ft deep and hold mock ups of the space centre and the space shuttle. The aim of this pool is to allow the astronauts to train in weightlessness in and around the various components. There were astronauts training while we were in and there was a live feed with audio showing you what they were doing.
After the pool we arrived at the Astronauts café where we had a free hot lunch, which was very good. I also managed to get a chance to speak to one of the British astronauts, I was behind him in the queue( he was buying a model of a space shuttle for some reason) His name was Nicholas Patrick and he had been space twice.
We then proceed to go to various buildings where the training for the shuttle took place and where the new Orion transpiration vehicle was being developed along with new robots and lunar rovers.
Then we arrived at the most famous place in Johnson, Apollo 9 Misson Controll. This is the place where the mission to the moon was commanded. We got to sit in the seats of the people that were there on the day. There are also artifacts in the room such as a flag that had been to the surface of the moon and back. Very exciting to see. We also had a talk from a guy who has worked at NASA since 1968 and has seen everything including the moon landing and all of the shuttle missions. He told us some stories that the general public did not get to hear about.
The tour lasted for about 5 hours. It was absolutely brilliant. The tour guide Irwin was very knowledgeable. We were dropped off at the visitor centre again and had a look at some of the exhibits and bought some things in the gift shop.
As it was getting late and we were getting hungrier by the minute, we discovered a sushi place on the road back to the hotel. We both had a sushi dinner and it was very good and really fresh. After getting back to the hotel I went for a swim.
Tomorrow we will be doing some sightseeing around Galveston including a duck tour. Watch this space to see how it goes.