In addition to the movies and exhibits, you can tour the Johnson
Space Center, where astronauts do some of the training for their
The first stop we made on our tour was the Neutral Bouyancy
Lab - a VERY large swimming pool in which astronauts can
practice in conditions that are similar to weightlessness. The
pool holds 6.2 milliom gallons of water. If you drank one
gallon of water a day, it would take you about 17,000 years to
drink all the water in the pool.
In the next building we visited, the X38 Crew Return Vehicle
was being designed and constructed. The X38 will be used
for emergencies on the International Space Station. A crew
return vehicle is like a lifeboat for astronauts that would allow
them to return to earth if they had to leave the space station
The day we were there, astronauts Steve Smith and John
Grunsfeld were practicing for their flight to repair the Hubble
. The NASA internet site has biographies of the
, if you want to learn more about them.