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Steve Nesbitt August 4, 1995

RELEASE: 95-053

JSC PLANS OPEN HOUSE ON AUGUST 26

The NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) will open its gates to the general public on August 26, welcoming the Houston community to a first-hand look inside facilities not usually seen. The Open House, which runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., is being held to show appreciation to the community for its ongoing support.

Visitors will get the chance to hear astronauts describe their space flights and see where they train for them. Engineers and scientists will be on hand to demonstrate many of the special tools and projects on which they work.

"We wanted to give a special 'thank you' to members of the local community for all the support they have given us," said JSC Director, Dr. Carolyn Huntoon. "We hope they will come out and see the exciting work their neighbors do."

Also on display will be space suits, moon rocks and the 100-foot vacuum chamber once used to test the Apollo spacecraft.

In a series of special presentations in the auditorium, current and former astronauts will describe space flights, scientists will show dramatic photos of the Earth taken from space, and astronauts from earlier missions will offer a history lesson on America's human space flight program.

Three gates, two along NASA Road One and one near Space Center Blvd. and Bay Area Blvd., will be open. A tram will operate around the perimeter

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of the site, allowing visitors to ride to various stops. Visitors will be given a

brochure that will include a map of JSC with all open buildings and tram stops marked.

The Open House comes during the annual Ballunar Festival sponsored by JSC's visitor center, Space Center Houston, from August 25 - 27. This year's Ballunar Festival will feature over 60 inflatable balloons, along with other attractions. The festival will take place in the Rocket Park area at JSC, with activities beginning on Friday, August 25, at 6 p.m.

Visitors to the Ballunar Festival may park in the Space Center Houston parking lot and walk or ride a tram to Rocket Park, use the Park and Ride bus service from the Clear Lake Park and Ride and Baybrook Mall area, or drive into the Johnson Space Center and park on-site (Saturday only). Admission is free to the JSC Open House and the Ballunar Festival.

Note to Editors: Please add this to your community calendar of events feature until the date of the event.

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