Common questions

Read the most frequently asked question about the shuttle Independence timed ticketing below.

The Space Shuttle Program’s orbiters were designed to allow six crew members to live and work in relative comfort while orbiting Earth. It’s a little harder to turn that somewhat cramped environment into a place that guests can tour. Because of this, we’re implementing timed ticketing to tour the shuttle, so that people taking in this one-of-a-kind experience can do so in comfort. This will not only allow guests to see the high-fidelity shuttle replica in a more relaxed atmosphere, but also it will allow visitors to enjoy the more than 400 things to see and do at Space Center Houston.
Absolutely! These timed tickets are only for tours of the shuttle replica Independence and the airplane requires a line only if entering it. Guests will be free to walk around both vehicles in Independence Plaza at any time during their visit to Space Center Houston.
No. The timed ticket is free.
The best way is to go to spacecenter.org/timed-ticket before you arrive at Space Center Houston so you have more choices. There you will see available times on different dates and can more effectively plan your visit. You can print your ticket at home or bring the electronic ticket version (PDF) on your mobile device.
If making your reservation after arriving at Space Center Houston, you can reserve your tour time either online on your mobile device, or at the timed ticket station at the Membership Desk behind the Stellar Science Stage (to the left as you enter the front doors). There, a Crew Member can assist you in reserving a seat in one of the time slots still available that day.
Don’t fret. We are only offering a portion of the tours as timed tickets. The rest of the tour spots will be filled from the standby line. That line will function much as it does without timed ticketing: first-come, first-served.
No. There are two ways to reserve a tour time once you are at the center. First, when you enter the front doors go to the left to the timed ticket station at the Membership Desk, located behind the Stellar Science Stage. There, a Crew Member can assist you in reserving a seat in one of the time slots still available that day.
The second option is to go to our website at spacecenter.org/timed-tickets and reserve a spot through your mobile device. Once you’ve done this, present the email confirmation with the electronic ticket (PDF) on your mobile device at the tour queue at your designated time.
Timed tickets are limited on these tours, however, so it is better to reserve your tour time before you get to Space Center Houston to assure yourself a seat at the time of your choosing.
Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your tour’s scheduled start time. This allows everyone on the tour to navigate their way to the shuttle replica in a timely manner and the tour can begin as scheduled. Entry for late arrivals cannot be guaranteed at the time specified on your ticket. If you miss your timed entrance, please see a Crew Member for assistance to board the next available tour.
Entry for late arrivals cannot be guaranteed at the time specified on your ticket. If you miss your scheduled tour, we will make every reasonable accommodation, which may include, but is not limited to, a spot on the next available tour, or placement in the stand-by line. If you miss your timed entrance, please see a Crew Member for assistance to board the next available tour.
If you scheduled a tour for later in the day, feel free to explore all the wonders Space Center Houston has to offer. Don’t miss Starship Gallery, where you can see actual flown spacecraft used in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. There, you can walk through the massive Skylab training module, which astronauts used to prepare for their missions to America’s first space station.
Elsewhere around the center, marvel at the future of deep space exploration with the movie Journey to Space in our large screen theater or the film On Human Destiny about the history of America’s space program, in Destiny Theater. Be sure to get your updates on NASA’s missions to Mars in Blast Off! Theater and see what life is like on the International Space Station during our Living in Space show.
We also have at least three large visiting exhibits that change throughout the year. There’s always something new at Space Center Houston.
Yes. These free tickets are the only way to reserve a place on the tour. Members and NASA employees can reserve timed tickets on the website. Once at the center, members show their membership passes and NASA employees their NASA badges to enter the building. Then, go to the tour queue located in Starship Gallery at the appointed time and present the tickets.
Don’t worry! As long as you have access to your email through a mobile device, you can show the Crew Member at the tour queue your electronic ticket (PDF) and email confirmation to receive entry. If you do not have access to your email, go to the timed ticket stations at the Membership Desk, located behind the Stellar Science Stage, for assistance.
Tours occur continuously throughout the day.