Johnson Space Center
JSC is a federal facility, home to Mission Control Center, where Space Shuttle missions are monitored and directed from seconds after launch to landing. This is where astronauts are trained and the Space Shuttle program is managed. JSC is also the lead center in design and implementation of the International Space Station, and now is leading the way to return us to the moon with project Constellation. 

In March 2010, Jeff Hoff and I had the opportunity to visit JSC and on my first day we toured the facility under a Level 9 VIP Tour. We had a chance to see the Space Shuttle Crew for the STS-133 mission while they were training on the space shuttle mock-up in Blg. 9NE. We took some great pictures of the astronauts and their "Pad Rats" during their training exercise. We talked to one of the Pad Rats and she gave us permission to watch. The Pad Rats are also called the Close Out Crew. These are the guys who help suit up the astronauts before their training and their actual flight. They are also on hand shortly after landing to help them remove their space suits.  
This tour included:
Building 3 - Astronaut Cafeteria (We enjoyed a free lunch where the astronauts eat every day.) 
Building 9NE - Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility (Observation Catwalk) Which included mock-                        ups of the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. 
Building 30S - New Mission Control Center (Viewing Areas) 
Building 30N - Historic Mission Control Center (Apollo Era Mission Control Room). We got to                        go inside and actually sit at the historic Apollo flight consoles.
Building 32 - Space Environment Simulation Lab (Vacuum Chamber) 
Sonny Carter Training Facility - Neutral Buoyancy Lab (Observation Catwalk) Astronauts                              were training underwater at the time of our tour.

Later that night Jeff and I had a chance to attend the STS-130 Crew Debrief in the Space Center Houston Northrop Grumman Theater on March 23, 2010. The event consisted of awards presentation, Crew presentation with slides and video and question and answer session. After the event we got to meet each STS-130 crew member.

One the second day we had another VIP Tour with a friend who worked with NASA. We had the privilege of going back to Blg. 9 were the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility is located. This time we got a personal one on one guided tour inside the International Space Station Mock-up where all astronauts train for their perspective missions. Then we got the rare opportunity of a touring inside the Space Shuttle Mock-up simulator. We entered into the crew cabin and then climbed up the ladder to the flight deck. I was then given permission to sit in the commander's seat of the Space Shuttle. While inside the space shuttle training simulator, we were given very fascinating hands on tour of the space craft.

                     

Kennedy Space Center 
KSC is NASA launch headquarters. Here at the KSC you are able to see NASA’s awesome facilities, including the massive launch pads, gigantic Vehicle Assembly Building, and the awe-inspiring Apollo/Saturn V Center. This is where our country's human space flight missions started with the Mercury Program. From Mercury we went to the Gemini Program then on to the Apollo Program which took men to the moon. Now KSC is launch headquarters for the Space Shuttle Program.

Jeff Hoff and I visited KSC on April 20, 2010. The day of our planned visit was the same day the Orbiter "Discovery" was to return from space and land at the Kennedy Space Center. We arrived at the Kennedy Visitor Center about 20 minutes before the landing of the STS-131 Crew aboard Discovery. A few minutes before landing we heard the sonic boom (Boom-Boom) and shortly after the boom, there it was dropping from the sky right above our parking lot. That was a fantastic site to view. Discovery landed at 9:08 AM that Tuesday morning on April 20th.

Short of becoming an astronaut, there’s no better way to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Kennedy Space Center than on the Kennedy Space Center Tour. We had a panoramic view of space shuttle launch pads at the LC-39 Observation Gantry, we saw International Space Station modules being prepared for space flight, and we experienced the historic Apollo 8 launch and then marveled at a massive 363-foot-long Saturn V moon rocket at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. We also got a chance to see the gigantic Vehicle Assembly Building that was used to assemble the massive Saturn V rockets during the Apollo era and is now being used to vertically stack the Space Shuttle to the external tank and the solid rocket boosters then ready them for flight.

Early that night while at our hotel restaurant, I overheard the people next to us talking about the Orbiter Discovery landing. I asked one of the guys if he saw the landing. He just smiled and one of the other guys said, "Yeah you could say he saw the landing, he unsnapped the shuttle commander from his seat in the STS-131". While talking with them several more arrived and then I remembered their faces. As it turned out these were the same "Pad Rats" or Close Out Crew we saw training with the STS-133 Crew while in Houston on our VIP tour in Blg 9 at the Johnson Space Center back in March. We had a big laugh and visit with them and they rewarded us by giving us flight mission patches for the STS-130 and the STS-131.  My friend, Jeff Hoff surprised all of them by bringing out his camera and showing them all the pictures he had taken of them while they worked with the STS-133 crew in Houston the previous month.

 



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Photograph Collection
of
 Frank Wadsworth

Wadsworth Christmas Tree Farm
We have just entered the shuttle through the hatch in background. We are standing in the crew cabin area.
Sleeping cot tied to walls of the crew cabin.
Frank seating on the space shuttle orbiter toliet.
Frank Wadsworth seating in the commanders seat of the shuttle orbiter.
Frank Wadsworth getting instructions on how to land the space shuttle orbiter.
Jeff Hoff standing behind flight deck. Windows behind Jeff are looking into the cargo bay of the shuttle orbiter.
Jeff Hoff seating in the commanders seat of the shuttle orbiter.
Jeff Hoff climbing down from the flight deck to the crew cabin area of the shuttle orbiter.
International Space Station Mock-up Tour
Space Shuttle Mock-up Simulator Tour
NASA Security Check Point - As we entered the Johnson Space Center
Mission Control Plaque locacted in hallway outside the Mission Control Rooms.
Mission Control Center - for all Space Shuttle flights.
Mission Control Center - for all Space Shuttle flight
Mission Control Center - for all Space Shuttle flight
Extra Mission Control room used when needed.
Mission Control Center - International Space Station
Mission Control Center - International Space Station
Mission Control Center - International Space Station
Mission Control Center - International Space Station
Mission Control Center - International Space Station
Ham - Test flight into space before human space flight.
Apollo 1 flight patch - The Crew of Apollo 1 died in a fire during a plugs out test on the launch pad.
Apollo 11 Crew Photo - Armstrong - Collins - Aldrin
Apollo Era Mission Control Room
Apollo Era Mission Control Room
Apollo Era Mission Control Roomm
Apollo Era Mission Control Room
Apollo Era Mission Control Room
Apollo Era Mission Control Room - Jeff Hoff looking over some historic papers inside the console drawers
Papers inside console draw- Mission Operation Directorate - signed by Michael Collins. Interesting and just lying in the draw.
Apollo Era Mission Control Room - Frank sitting at consoles.
Apollo Era Mission Control Room
Apollo Era Mission Control Room - Frank standing at the Apollo Flight Directors console.
Apollo Era Mission Control Room - Frank on the hot line phone to the White House.
Apollo Era Mission Control Room
Apollo Era Mission Control Room
Apollo Era Mission Control Room - Jeff Hoff trying to Launch a Saturn V?
Apollo Era Mission Control Room
Apollo Era Mission Control Room
Mission Control Rooms - ISS - Shuttle - Apollo Era Tour
NASA's  Close Out Crew for the STS 131 crew or Pad Rats as they call them. We meet the group during our trip to Kennedy Space Center to watch the Landing of STS 131 on April 20th 2010. They were staying in our Hotel.
Burnnadett, a NASA employee from Houston, TX. that we meet and she was kind enough to give us flight mission patches for the STS 130 and the STS 131.
Opportunity to Watch the Astronauts in Training - Shuttle Crew STS-133
Johnson Space Center - March 23, 2010
Commander Steve Lindsey - Pilot Eric Boe - Kopra - Barratt - Nicole Scott - Alvin Drew
Close Out Crew ( "Pad Rats" ) - Tony - Kathy - and the other guys
Note: My friends camera date is incorrect - the year is 2010 not 2009
Shuttle STS-131 Landing at KSC 9:08 AM on 4-20-2010 
My friend , Jeff Hoff, Looking at the skies waiting for the Orbiter Discovery to come into view. Minutes before the landing.
My friend, Jeff Hoff, Looking at the skies waiting for the Orbiter Discovery to come into view. Minutes before the landing.
Watching the laptop computer with updated information on the landing from Mission Control in Houston, TX. We were tracking the landing path across the United States with updated info on the air speed and altitude.
Orbiter comes into view over the parking lot at the Kennedy Visitor Complex.
Orbiter comes into view over the parking lot at the Kennedy Visitor Complex.
Orbiter comes into view over the parking lot at the Kennedy Visitor Complex.
Discovery is landing on runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center.
Discovery is landing on runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center.
Discovery is landing on runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center.
Discovery is landing on runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center.
At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the members of space shuttle Discovery’s STS-131 crew comment on their successful mission to the International Space Station following Discovery's landing on Runway 33. At the microphone is Commander Poindexter
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, STS-131 Commander Alan Poindexter, front, and his crew exit the crew transport vehicle following the landing of space shuttle Discovery on Runway 33
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Kennedy Director Bob Cabana welcomes STS-131 Commander Alan Poindexter back from space following the landing of space shuttle Discovery on Runway 33
Shuttle Crew Transportation Vehicle headed to the crew quarters with the STS-131 crew on board.
Shuttle Crew Transportation Vehicle headed to the crew quarters with the STS-131 crew on board.
Shuttle Crew Transportation Vehicle headed to the crew quarters with the STS-131 crew on board.
Click on thumbnails to view
Apollo Image Gallery - Click NASA Photo below
Frank Wadsworth in commander's seat of the 
Space Shuttle Training Simulator at JSC - March 2010
Johnson Space Center - Houston, Texas - March 2010
Kennedy Space Center - Florida - April 2010