NASA is identified with Houston – and vice versa. In a nod to the important contributions that NASA and Space Center Houston have made to the city since the 1960s, the Houston Mortgage Bankers Association invited William T. Harris, CEO of Space Center Houston, to be the featured speaker at their July 12 meeting at Maggiano’s Restaurant near the Galleria.
Introduced by HMBA President Joe Thompson, Harris gave an update on Space Center Houston. He announced that the Center, the city’s number-one attraction with more than 1 million visitors per year, is the first and only Smithsonian Institution affiliate outside of Washington, D.C.
“As a Smithsonian affiliate, we get to share artifacts with the foremost history and science museum in the world,” Harris said. “Space Center Houston will be the first of four stops of a new exhibit featuring the Apollo 11 command module, which will leave the Smithsonian on a national tour for the first time since 1971. It will be the only location where guests can see the space capsules for both the first and last lunar landings. “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission” exhibit will be on display Oct. 14-March 18, 2018.”
Harris also reported on the on-going restoration of Mission Control, which Harris described as the “only room in the world designed to support space exploration.” He relayed that the $5 million-dollar restoration project, “On a Mission: Restoring Historic Mission Control,” had received $3.5 million from the City of Webster, and that Space Center Houston has launched a crowdfunding effort called “The Webster Challenge: Restore Historic Mission Control” on Kickstarter.
“The Webster Challenge is a global effort inviting people to participate in the 30-day Kickstarter to raise $250,000. The City of Webster will generously match each gift dollar-for-dollar up to a $400,000 maximum,” Harris said.
Thompson closed the meeting and reminded the audience that the next meeting will be held on August 9th and feature Dave Savage, CEO of Mortgage Coach.