“Creating Space City, USA”

From its beginnings, NASA has had a special relationship with the city of Houston. Back then folks called us Space City — a claim that was proven true when the first word ever heard from the moon was “Houston.” (Apollo 11’s Commander Neil Armstrong said, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”) The “Creating Space City, USA” exhibit at the Heritage Society looks at NASA in relation to Houston from 1958 to 1978, but in an unexpected way.

“It’s not about how the rockets work, but about the cultural history of NASA,” says Exhibit Coordinator Ginger Berni. “The focus of the exhibit is…what it meant for Houston when NASA announced that they were going to be building the manned spacecraft center here.” So, along with the expected moon rocks (sorry, these are replicas — the real things require an armed guard 24/7), and Apollo-era training equipment, the exhibit includes information about the neighborhood where the first NASA astronauts and scientists lived, along with souvenirs given out to the public.

“Some of the more interesting things in the exhibit are things that regular people would have held onto, like souvenir coins from the Apollo program, or a red, white and blue scarf with the astronauts’ signatures printed on it that was given out at a luncheon. And you get a personal feeling to NASA. [One display includes] quotations and thoughts from the people working in Mission Control for Apollo 11, what it meant to them to land on the moon,” says Berni. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. For information, call 713-655-1912 or visit www.heritagesociety.org. Free.

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sundays, 1-4 p.m. Starts: Feb. 19. Continues through April 26, 2009


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