Space Center Houston
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The first word spoken on the moon was “Houston,” so it’s fitting that the city is home to one of the finest interstellar museums on planet Earth. NASA’s Space Center Houston boasts a multitude of permanent displays and attractions, but the real star of the show is the new Independence Plaza exhibit, a 747 airplane with a full replica of the space shuttle Independence mounted above it. In a world first, guests can explore inside both aircraft, from the flight decks to the astronaut living quarters. For those more curious to see how present-day NASA operates, take a Level 9 Tour, complete with behind-the-scenes access to Mission Control at neighboring Johnson Space Center. Just be sure to book in advance: these tours access areas off-limits to the regular public and are only available for up to 12 guests a day.