#ScienceLooksGood

Houston: Johnson Space Center & Expedition 36

This week, I visited Johnson Space Center in Houston to meet the astronauts that will be heading up to the International Space Station (ISS) in late May. They would have allowed me to join the crew of Expedition 36, but I didn't wear a blue shirt.  

From L to R: Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Karen Nyberg of NASA, me, and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency. 

From L to R: Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Karen Nyberg of NASA, me, and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency. 

In addition, I got a behind the scenes look at the Johnson Space Center facilities.  Check out a few pics below!

Here I am in the Apollo era mission control room, next to the red phone that connected directly with the president. Next to me is my Nexus 7 and battery charger - probably has more computing power than the entire room.

Here I am in the Apollo era mission control room, next to the red phone that connected directly with the president. Next to me is my Nexus 7 and battery charger - probably has more computing power than the entire room.

The current Mission Control room which is used to monitor the space station.  When manned spaceflight returns to the US, they'll have more to work on!

The current Mission Control room which is used to monitor the space station.  When manned spaceflight returns to the US, they'll have more to work on!

Inside the mockup of the ISS is a recreation of the computers that control the CanadaArm. This device grabs satellites and docks them with the ISS.

Inside the mockup of the ISS is a recreation of the computers that control the CanadaArm. This device grabs satellites and docks them with the ISS.

The Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD) shows us the difference between space suits in the past, present, and future.

The Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD) shows us the difference between space suits in the past, present, and future.

Astronauts have to exercise to prevent muscle atrophy. This machine provides resistance and allows squats and lifts.

Astronauts have to exercise to prevent muscle atrophy. This machine provides resistance and allows squats and lifts.

Formerly known as T-2, the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) is named after Stephen Colbert after he won a naming contest.

Formerly known as T-2, the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) is named after Stephen Colbert after he won a naming contest.

The catwalks above the ISS mockup allowed us to appreciate the large scale of the station.  It's about the size of a football field.

The catwalks above the ISS mockup allowed us to appreciate the large scale of the station.  It's about the size of a football field.

Robonaut is designed to help the astronauts with testing tasks in the space station.  This one's just ... hanging out.

Robonaut is designed to help the astronauts with testing tasks in the space station.  This one's just ... hanging out.