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Patrick Kernen

Houston, Tranquility Base Here. The Eagle has Landed.

In the summer of 2011 I got the tremendous opportunity to work for NASA at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Johnson Space Center is famous throughout the world as “Mission Control” and is the command center for NASA’s human space flights.

While Mission Control Center may be the most famous, the center has plenty more to see.

Upon entering the center, the first thing you notice is Rocket Park, which houses the Saturn V Rocket used for Apollo and Skylab programs. If you want to witness the size of the International Space Center or the Space Shuttle, Johnson Space Center has life-size mockups of both.

The Neutral Buoyance Laboratory (NBL), along with Ellington Field, are located a few miles up the road. The NBL is where astronauts train in a giant pool filled with 6.2 million gallons of water. Ellington Field is the airstrip which houses NASA’s WB-57’s, DC-9, Super Guppy, Gulfstream III, Shuttle Training Aircraft and the fleet of T-38 Jets.

From shaking the hand of a robot that will be used to roam Mars, to witnessing the final launch of the shuttle program, my time at NASA’s Johnson Space Center was marked with numerous experiences that will last a lifetime. My most memorable experience, however, was being able to take a flight in zero gravity. Never in my life did I think I would have the opportunity to feel what it’s like to float weightless in space. Thirty-two times I was suspended in air for about 30 seconds before being forced back down by two times the force of gravity on Earth.

Working at Johnson Space Center was one of the best experiences of my life and is one of the coolest places I’ll ever witness.

Patrick Kernan

Patrick Kernan

Patrick Kernan

Patrick Kernan