News Release

Space Center Houston Reaches 17 Million Visitors 

HOUSTON, March 17, 2015 – What’s your lucky number?  For Gerry Duncan, it was 17 million as the nonprofit Space Center Houston celebrated its 17 millionth visitor since opening in October 1992.

Gerry, 9, of Conroe was welcomed March 14 by a cheering crowd while the sound of a drumroll played to mark this special milestone for the museum. The boy met the center’s mascot Commander Quest, received several souvenir gifts donated by area businesses and a one-year membership to the center. The excitement didn’t end there. He and his family received a personal behind-the-scenes tour of Space Center Houston and NASA.

“For 23 years, visitors have come from all over the world to Space Center Houston to learn about space exploration and feel a part of the journey,” said the center’s President and CEO Richard E. Allen Jr. “We aim to spark imaginations and inspire the next generation of explorers.”

This momentous occasion comes on the heels of an outstanding year of growth in 2014 when the center celebrated its fifth-highest annual attendance and its second-highest December attendance since opening. The year saw the move of the historic original shuttle carrier aircraft to the center, followed by a spectacular lift of the shuttle replica Independence to its permanent home on the SCA. The center also became Houston’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate, earned its first Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and was called “The Big Draw” in greater Houston by USA Today.

Space Center Houston is a living museum where visitors can see astronauts train for missions, touch a real moon rock and tour NASA. With more than 800,000 visitors annually, visitors come from all over the world to view the largest collection of space artifacts in the Southwestern United States.

The next landmark event will be the opening of the unique SCA and shuttle replica Independence exhibit complex slated to open later this year. As the only exhibit of its kind in the world, the complex with include fully built-out educational displays focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For more information on Space Center Houston and the foundation, visit www.spacecenter.org.

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The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit space museum with an extensive science education program. The cornerstone of its science education mission is Space Center Houston, which USA Today called “The Big Draw” in the greater Houston area with more than 800,000 visitors annually and a $45 million economic impact on the greater Houston area. Space Center Houston is Houston’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate and the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center.  The center draws more than 100,000 teachers and students annually from around the world. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.

SOURCE: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc.

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