We drove to Houston Thursday night hoping the small people would fall asleep in the car- it didn't work. Fortunately they were pretty good travelers.
Friday we went to the NASA space center.
Matthew also had a chance to meet an astronaut and hear him speak about what it is like in space. (And it was free!)
Colonel Michael Bloomfield piloted 2 missions and was commander of a third. He described accelerating to Mach 25 (the speed needed to break free of Earth's atmosphere and remain in space), the two years of training required to master the more than 1,000 switches used as a pilot, working inside and out of the space station, and viewing Earth down below. He was an engaging speaker, and Matthew's favorite part was his descriptions of eating and drinking in space. Water molecules tend to form a ball in space making it ideal for all kinds of entertainment. Col Bloomfield described shooting M&Ms at water at different speeds to see what would happen (all in the name of science of course!). If you shoot it gently the M&M will stick to the outside of the ball of water. Toss it a little harder and it will float in the middle of the water. Chuck that M&M with all the force you can muster and it will shoot through the water and fly out the other side with a spray of water droplets. Floating goldfish crackers in water spheres to make "aquariums" was another pastime of bored astronauts as was blowing air bubbles into the water with a straw. Matthew laughed and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.
We spent half a day there and saw maybe 1/10 of things to see and do. It would have taken several days to take in everything. We certainly did enjoy the trip and would recommend it to anyone visiting Houston.