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July 16, 1998

Ann Hutchison
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

Donn Sickorez
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

Release: J98-29

Johnson Space Center Opens for Behind-the-Scenes Look

The doors to NASA will be opened wide Saturday, August 29, as the Johnson Space Center in Houston hosts its fourth annual open house.

The free event, which drew over 70,000 people last year, showcases the people, equipment and facilities at the heart of America’s human space flight program. Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Free parking is available. Visitors will see astronaut training equipment, full-size mockups of the space shuttle and space station, advanced spacecraft designs and Mission Control.

More than 150 exhibits will be shown in 20 buildings at the Space Center. Trams and buses will help move visitors around the center and to Ellington Field where NASA will display its astronaut training and research aircraft. The Sonny Carter Training Facility, home to one of the world’s largest indoor pools and used to train space walkers, also is reachable by a free bus ride.

Also among this year’s featured attractions:

· The X-38, a conceptual space vehicle under construction that may become a space station "lifeboat." · Space suits used by astronauts and cosmonauts. · The current mission control room used to control today’s space shuttle missions and the historic Apollo-era control room. -MORE- -2- · Astronauts signing autographs and talking about their experiences in space.

The one-day JSC Open House is held during the same weekend as the Ballunar Liftoff Festival, a three-day event sponsored by local communities and held on the NASA grounds. The festival includes 100 or more hot air balloons, midway rides, games, skydiving exhibitions, and other displays. Festival admission is $3 for adults. Children under 12 are admitted free.

For more information about NASA’s Open House, call 281-244-5312, or visit the JSC website at /centers/jsc.


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