New Leaves

Bonnie and Flat in front of the Star Trek shuttle, Galileo (the actual set model used in the making of the the TV series.

Houston, TX

Where No Man Has Gone Before

Nov 07, 2013 by Arthur

I’ve always had a bent toward science fiction as a kid. . .and even as an adult. When Star Trek came on the air in 1966, my wife told me about it and I was interested to see the show. And since that first exposure. . .I was hooked and have been a Trek fanboy ever since. So when the opportunity came to visit the Space Center in Houston, I was anxious to see all I could see because my imagination had been fanned by the science fiction to see the real thing. But to my surprise, one of the first items I came across was the Galileo from the NCC-1701, Enterprise!

You can imagine my excitement to see the actual full size shuttle that was used in several episodes of the original Star Trek TV series. Flat was excited too (he’s really kind of strange that way). [Oh, by the way, that road sign you see in the picture, was encountered when we were quite close to the entrance of the Space Center. It has significance to any other Star Trek fan. And if you’re not a fan. . . find one and ask what the sign means.] But there was so much more to see at the Space Center that was absolutely the real thing. So, our first stop after entering the center was to take the Tram Tour of the working center there at Houston.

Actual model of the Star Trek Enterprise shuttle Galileo
This sign should have significance for Star Trek fans.
Mission Control room used for many space flights through the years
Saturn 5 rocket used in early manned space flights

Our first stop was to visit the original “mission control room” used for many years as the space program progressed up through the manned flight missions and including the shuttle missions. It was quite a surprise to learn that the display screens at each workstation had no computing power but only displayed raw data that needed to then be written by hand in the log books.

We then traveled to the building holding many of the International Space Station modules used for training exercises and trouble-shooting procedures when necessary. This was indeed quite an accomplishment to see the many nations that participate in the ISS program. Many new tools and procedures are being developed in this particular part of the Space Center.

We again boarded the tram for a trip to Rocket Park and had an up-close and personal view of a Saturn 5 rocket. Believe me. . .it’s big! And to think of mere human beings sitting atop that rocket for a lift-off into space is truly remarkable.

We enjoyed our visit to the Johnson Space Center and marveled at the developments accomplished in the space program. But we couldn’t help but be even more excited to realize that one day we won’t need a rocket to reach the stars. One day we will be able to explore all of God’s creation in the universe and not be limited to one earthly planet. And even that planet will be truly amazing as well when God creates a new heaven and a new earth. It’s something we definitely need to be ready to receive because the alternative is not something we want to think about. But, dear reader, if you’re not ready for that . . .please click the link “Know God” and find out how you can be ready.