Wednesday, May 12, 2021

SpaceX Rocket to join Space Center Houston’s collection of historic spacecraft

A flown SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exhibit is coming soon to Space Center Houston, the Official Visitor Center for NASA Johnson Space Center. The Falcon 9 first stage booster is planned to open to the world this spring.

Set outside Space Center Houston, the all-new exhibit will provide an intimate look at a reusable rocket used to further space exploration and America’s commercial space industry.

Thanks to a generous contribution from SpaceX, Falcon 9 is the newest addition to the nonprofit’s growing collection of flown space vehicles and historic rockets.

“Our SpaceX rocket exhibit will inspire people of all ages to pursue science learning and discovery,” said William T. Harris, president and CEO of the science and space exploration learning center. “We want everyone to have access to learn about the growing commercial space sector which is stimulating the economy and drawing more companies to provide innovative technologies, medical advances and further NASA’s plans to send humans to the Moon and Mars.” 

The Falcon 9 booster will be displayed horizontally, allowing guests to walk underneath the flown rocket. It has a 156.5 feet (47.7 m) long frame with a stage diameter of 12 feet (3.7 m) and houses nine first-stage engines. It’s one of only two SpaceX Falcon 9 boosters currently on display in the world and the first commercial space exhibit for Space Center Houston.

Its two-stage configuration minimizes the number of separation events and was designed to deliver payloads to orbit for a variety of commercial and government customers, including NASA.

This particular booster launched in June 2017 in support of SpaceX’s 11th commercial resupply mission (CRS-11) and performed a successful landing back on Earth. When the booster was flown a second time in December 2017 (CRS-13), it marked the first time a flown booster was used for a NASA mission.

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