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June 30, 1997

Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center
(281) 483-5914

Jovan-Justine Love
Johnson Space Center
(281) 483-9319

Release: J97-22

Johnson Space Center Hosts Open House August 23h3>

The Johnson Space Center opens its doors wide for a "behind the scenes" look at the Center and its facilities on Saturday August 23, 1997, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is free to the public, and is staffed by hundreds of space program volunteers to provide realistic, exciting descriptions of NASA programs and activities. Visitors have access to over 18 buildings, Ellington Airfield, and the new Sonny Carter Training Facility.

In recent years the Open House has attracted as many as 70,000 to the 1,620 acre spaceflight Center. One 1996 guest from North Carolina reported that she found out about the Open House at 10 p.m. the night before and was, "...on an airplane at 6:50 a.m. the next day." She said she had to come!

Open House guests will be able to see a wide variety of space program facilities and activities including training simulators for the Space Shuttle and the international Space Station, space vehicle mock-ups for human space programs, T-38 and KC-135A training aircraft, and demonstrations of space suits used for space walks by both the U.S. and Russian space programs. At the Sonny Carter Training Facility, visitors can see the Neutral Buoyancy Lab where a 6.2 million gallon pool simulates zero gravity for Space Station assembly training.

A Martian meteorite leads a wide variety of research items, investigation results and technology developments on display. Visitors will have the opportunity to review the results of the human long-duration chamber testing in preparation for extended stays at the Space Station and possible long trips to the planet Mars.

The JSC Teague auditorium will feature a program of talks and slide show presentations about topics such as missions on the Russian Mir space station, proposed human missions to Mars, and research about possible life on Mars. The auditorium’s lobby will provide a cool setting for a variety of fun educational activities where children and parents can learn more about space flight and exploration.

The Center’s cafeterias will be open as well as several small gift stores where visitors may buy space souvenirs and clothing. The Center will also provide tram service between buildings and to the numerous parking areas. Numerous information booths and water stations will help visitors quickly and comfortably find their favorite locations.

 

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