NASA Johnson Space Center’s first Open House in nearly four years is fast approaching. On April 23, JSC wants to show its neighbors how NASA is preparing to lead humans to explore the cosmos.

"We invite the community to join us for this Open House where they will be able to experience firsthand the excitement of the work we do here," said JSC Director Jefferson D. Howell Jr. "Come see the great work our people have completed to return the Space Shuttle to flight and to expand the capabilities of the International Space Station. Then let us share how these are the first steps in creating an exciting new journey, the Vision for Space Exploration."

The Vision for Space Exploration, announced in 2004, directs NASA to return the Space Shuttle to flight, complete assembly of the International Space Station, return humans to the moon and eventually travel to Mars and beyond.

Once inside the gates, guests will be able to shake hands with astronauts, tour Mission Control and hold pieces of real space hardware in their hands. Visitors also will have an opportunity to see the science, engineering and human element behind space exploration as full-size models of spacecraft, space hardware and other exhibits are featured throughout the center.

In addition, tours will be provided of the Sonny Carter Training Facility, where astronauts train for spacewalks in one of the largest indoor pools in the world, as well as NASA facilities at Ellington Field, where astronauts’ training jets are based.

Open House begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Entry to the center is free to the public. Food, beverages and souvenirs will be available for purchase.

Visitors may enter the center through the main gate located on Saturn Lane just off of NASA Parkway or a second gate located on NASA Parkway and Upper Bay Road. Parking in JSC lots is available at no charge.

Special security measures will be in effect. Large bags, coolers, pets, glass containers and weapons are prohibited on Johnson Space Center property.

For more information about JSC’s Open House, visit the JSC Web site at: