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Blog > The Little Mail Carriers visit NASA!

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This is one of those posts in which we’re jealous of the Little Mail Carriers, because they’re doing all the cool things in our bucket list… 🙄

Some time ago, Cathy (aka beesknees) offered to take them on a visit to the Space Center in Houston, and who could refuse an invitation like that?! The little ones couldn’t get on a padded envelope fast enough in their eagerness to get to Texas! I’m sure you’re just as curious as we were to know about their trip, so here they are to tell us about that adventure.

Hello from Houston… or as they say it around here, howdy! 👋 We’re super excited for today’s visit, and to show you all the rockets and cool things happening here at the Space Center.

Looking up at the Space Center Houston building, where the NASA logo and an illustration of an astronaut are shown

But first, a bit of explaining. The Space Center Houston is the visiting center of the NASA Johnson Space Center (or JSC for short), where human spaceflight training, research, and flight control are conducted. The JSC was built in 1961, and named after the late US president and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson, and has been running for over six decades now. When Neil Armstrong said “Houston, the eagle has landed” in 1969, or when Apollo 13 astronauts famously said "Houston, we have a problem" — this is the Houston they were referring to!

So the Space Center is a bit like a museum to showcase all the history and cool stuff that happened (and is still happening!) at the JSC, and we’re eager to explore everything. Even before you enter the building, there’s neat things to see!

Space Shuttle Independence on top of Shuttle Carrier Aircraft 905

Check out this amazing replica of Space Shuttle Independence, sitting on top of the original Shuttle Carrier Aircraft 905! Because shuttles don’t land in the same place where they take off from, carriers are needed to bring them back. Carriers start out as normal Boeing 747 planes, but they are modified to transport shuttles on top of them. A plane carrying a plane on its back! 🤯

Several types of space shuttles and rockets

Around the appropriately named “Rocket Park”, you can also see other rockets, like the Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle, Little Joe II

Saturn V launch vehicle is a huge contraption shaped like a cylinder with a pointy end, and engines on the back.

… or Saturn V, a “super heavy-lift launch vehicle” (aka the big part that spews fire and sends things into orbit)! It’s hard to convey how massive this thing is. In fact, it is the tallest, heaviest and most powerful rocket used to send humans into space and was regularly used during the Apollo moon program. It has three parts (or stages) that separate at different times, and although the bits here at the Space Center did not make it into space, they were definitely ready to!

More pictures of Saturn V's huge exhausts, and a sign that states the different parts of the launcher were ready to be used in space

Right, it’s time to go see the exhibitions, learn about the different space missions and meet some astronauts inside.

Paper cutouts of astronauts Shannon Walker from the USA, and Soichi Noguchi from Japan, with the Little Mail Carriers on their back.

Here are astronauts Shannon Walker from the USA, and Soichi Noguchi from Japan. They have both been in several missions to space, using different kinds of spacecrafts — including the Dragon 2 capsule for the SpaceX Crew-1 mission. Mr. Noguchi retired this year and is now the honorary director of the CupNoodles Museum. Honestly, we’re a bit jealous of him because how seriously cool is that for a career pivot!

A display with a space suit inside, and another display showing the inside of a command module. The command module interior is cramped, and three astronauts are floating around it

One thing you can explore in the museum are the high-tech spacesuits that several astronauts wore on their missions, and how these have changed over the years. And you can also check out the inside of a command module, which is the control center and living quarters for most of the lunar missions. It looks quite tight for the humans in there, but I think it would be plenty of space for us.

Displays in the Mars exhibit, feature Mars rovers and a huge rock, atop of which the Little Mail Carriers are sitting.

We were especially intrigued by the red planet and the missions that made it there! Feeling the textures of a real Mars rock on our feet was a unique experience. Do you think humans will make it to Mars soon? We hope so… then perhaps we can slip into someone’s pocket, and have an adventure in space!

A view from above towards the Mission Control room. Several desks can be seen, each displaying multiple computers. On the background wall, maps and computer displays are being projected, with data from current space missions.

Because the museum is right in the Johnson Space Center, you can see actual space things happening there — like astronauts training in simulators, or the real Mission Control room monitoring astronauts in the International Space Station. Just… wow!

A picture of Sally Ride wearing her blue NASA uniform, and on the right, a picture of the Little Mail Carriers next to an open mini-notebook which is their passport. They are surrounded by postcards and souvenirs from the museum.

Before leaving, there was still time to salute Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. USPS has issued a stamp in her honor, and we used it to stamp our little passport. We also added a pressed penny from the Space Center, and browsed the postcards on the gift shop on our way out.

The Little Mail Carriers are shown among postcards from the museum shop

And so our visit has come to its end, and we’re a little sad to go… There’s so much to see and learn here at the Space Center in Houston, and we really hope y’all will be able to visit someday!

Our huge thank you to Cathy for taking the little guys on this grand adventure! I wonder where they will end up next… 🤔

39 comments so far

June060310, China
What a wonderful visit!! 😍😍I am so fascinated with NASA and the International Space Station! And the little mail carriers are so cute!!
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Neleslovely, Austria
Thank you so much to do the great trip with our littlest!!!
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ned44440, Ireland
Fabulous 🚀🛸🛰🪐🌌🌍🌎🌏.
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MelanieBee, Netherlands
Oh wow!! Your visit is taking Postcrossing out of the world!
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harrickson, United States of America
Wow, what an adventure!
May be of interest ...
https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/signup.cfm
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Olddutch, Spain
How wonderful to be able to visit the space center. I would love to go there. It’s on my bucket list!
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mdmsamm, Canada
So well documented and a very interesting read,Cathy, minis a plus …grateful you took us along on your excursion.
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sumares, Puerto Rico
My brother lives in Seabrook, TX, and drives by Space Center Houston everyday. Seeing the Galaxy Lights in winter is a real treat!
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ZH60, Russia
I love visiting space museums. Wow interesting excursion.
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niematbn, Uzbekistan
😍😍😍😍
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kpwick, United States of America
Thank you little mail carriers! I enjoyed seeing and reading about your adventure!!😄
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msquared47, United States of America
This is very cool! I love everything about NASA and have visited the space center in FL several times.
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kraghavendrabhat, India
Thank you Mail Carriers for your wonderful presentation.
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beesknees, United States of America
I highly recommend visiting the space center, it was an honor and lot of fun to take the little mail carriers on this visit.
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KiraF, Russia
Little postmen, you are just lucky!
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papadave66, China
Sooo cool! and soo cute!
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BobRe, Czech Republic
Wow....thank you for your GREAT report from such a splendid place...
Greetings from the Czech republic 🇨🇿 to all postcrossers
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Asato, Russia
This is just AMAZING!! Thank you!
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quichelady, Japan
Mr. Noguchi! 🇯🇵🌏🛸🛰
Hooray! Japanese name on Postcrossing Blog!
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sealed4ever, United States of America
❤️ this!! I have missed little letter carrier adventures.
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everdina, Netherlands
Thank you so much .
Great adventure!
I hope to visit this place .
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kd7flc, United States of America
Totally awesome!!!!!
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marjap17, United States of America
Living in near Houston, Texas it was fun to read this as I have visited NASA. It also tells me I need to go back for a visit as it looks like many things have changed. Thank you for sharing!
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Rakiya1968, India
Nice trip to Usa space museum.i had fascinated about space when I was young.Thank you postcrossing.
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wifetoalineman, United States of America
The Little Mail Carriers are so lucky to visit amazing places like NASA. I always enjoy their visit and learn during their visit. I am looking forward to their next adventures.
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Flippie, Canada
I have been twice to The Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It's amazing what you discover there.
Houston is now on my bucket-list to visit.
Thanks for the story.
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TwasBrillig, United States of America
That looks like a wonderful museum - and also the Cup-o-Noodles Museum - thanks for bringing them both to our attention!
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cpaige, Canada
Now I've added it to my list on sites to visit when I make it to Florida!
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cpaige, Canada
and Texas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Sven1983, Germany
looks like a great adventure :)
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betslets, United States of America
Loved seeing the Little Mail Carriers in Texas. . .I live "just down the road" in Victoria, TX. We last visited NASA-JSC in August 2019, (during the 50th Anniversary year of the first Moon Landing). Thankfully we made our trip before its closing during the COVID lockdowns. Loved the bus tours and all the hands-on exhibits...especially those indoor sights in hot August.
Your photos were beautiful and brought back some great memories. Hope everyone gets to fulfill their bucket lists!
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Nells250, United States of America
I like that last photo with the postcard display! ;-)
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AileenChen, China
I LOVE IT!
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Demmi, Romania
Wow, such a great adventure! I hope to visit this place.
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rcornelison, United States of America
I have always loved anything about Space and collect space stamps. I've been to the Space center in Huntsville, Alabama now I have to come down from Oklahoma to visit this one.
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LydiaLsdia, United States of America
There's so much to see there! I went 3 times in February and apparently missed some of what you saw.
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IrinaAlexandr, Russia
wonderful!!!
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silvy, Netherlands
Loved to see this.
Hope to see more places which I can´t visit😊👍 but this way I learn more about the world
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dollart, Finland
So cool 😍
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