by Allen J. Sheinman | October 01, 2010

Houston, we have a problem: Refill the buffet station!" Such a directive is not out of the question at the Space Center Houston or other iconic places associated with the U.S. space program, because they offer meeting facilities as well as palpable ties to the romance of exploration of the Final Frontier.

Along with a host of exhibits and attractions about the history of NASA and its manned spaceflight program, the Houston facility offers the 120,000-square-foot Plaza for 100 to 5,000 guests, the 9,881-square-foot Astronaut Gallery for 200 to 600, the 9,961-square-foot Starship Gallery for 40 to 120 and other special areas, including a boardroom for up to 38.

At the fabled Kennedy Space Center near Orlando, the Dr. Kurt H. Debus Conference Facility presents exhibits on the history of the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station, along with room for groups of 30 to 300 people, a state-of-the-art multimedia system and a full-service kitchen. In addition, the 100,000-square-foot Apollo/Saturn V Center displays a giant Saturn V moon rocket that can serve as the dramatic centerpiece for a banquet or other special event.

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., was NASA's first visitor center, opened in 1970, and today features exhibits ranging from the history of the Apollo mission to the upcoming Constellation project. Among the meeting spaces are Saturn Hall (for receptions of up to 1,500 people) at the center's Davidson Center for Space Exploration; the Galaxy Dining Room (for a buffet dinner of up to 260); the outdoor Shuttle Park (for up to 2,000), and the Spacedome Lobby (up to 150), which offers one small hors d'oeuvre for man, one giant buffet for mankind.