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June 15, 2001

Nicole Cloutier
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Release: J01-62

JSC Open House 2001 Set for August 25

For the sixth consecutive year, NASA’s Johnson Space Center will open its doors to the public for its annual Open House event. For one full day, Saturday, Aug. 25, visitors will have an opportunity to meet JSC’s workers, see how they plan and conduct human space flight missions and learn about NASA technologies that are used on Earth every day.

Open House, which begins at 9 a. m. and ends at 5 p. m., is free to the public. Visitors may enter the center through three gates not normally open to the public – on NASA Road One just east of Saturn Lane, on Space Center Boulevard near Bay Area Boulevard, and on Space Center Boulevard near NASA Road One. Parking in JSC lots is available at no charge.

"Open House is a rare and valuable opportunity for the community to come inside our gates and see how the space program works," said Roy Estess, Center Director (Acting). "For many people, this is a once in a lifetime chance to meet astronauts in person, see mission control or hold a piece of space hardware in their hands. Likewise, it's a wonderful opportunity for the people here, many of whom have dedicated their careers to make space travel a reality, to share their passion with our neighbors."

Exhibits and hardware from JSC’s various programs will be featured in more than 19 buildings throughout the center. In addition, tours will be provided of the Sonny Carter Training Facility, where astronauts train for space walks in the largest indoor pool in the world, as well as Ellington Field, where NASA training jets, Shuttle Training Aircraft and the KC-135 weightless trainer are based.

Visitors will be able to see Mission Control where both the Space Shuttle and International Space Station flight control rooms are operating. This facility is the nerve center for human space flight operations.

In Building 9, at the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, visitors can see a full-size model of the first and only reusable spacecraft ever built – the Space Shuttle. Also housed in Building 9 are the full-size modules of the International Space Station, a U.S.- led, international project involving five space agencies and 16 nations in the most complex engineering project ever undertaken.

NASA Astronauts will be on hand throughout the day to provide autographs at JSC and Ellington Field. Food, beverages and souvenirs will be available for purchase as well.

Other facilities used for research in advanced technologies involving composite materials, plant growth, life support systems, global positioning systems and physiological studies will be open to the public.

There will be educational activities for children and opportunities to be photographed beside real space hardware and hands-on interactive activities involving the Internet.

JSC’s Open House coincides with the annual Ballunar Liftoff Festival, a three day event sponsored by local communities and held on the NASA grounds. The festival includes more than 100 hot air balloons, midway rides, games, skydiving exhibitions and other displays. There will be an admission charge for the Ballunar Liftoff Festival.

Additionally, transportation is available from Houston METRO. Designated METRO shuttle pick up locations include Baybrook Mall on I-45 South or the Bay Area Park and Ride lot on Bay Area Blvd. in Clear Lake.

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


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