HHC 2012 location


I know it may be early for this question, but I would like to know if there are advances regarding the HHC 2012 location. Planning ahead a trip, and getting low fares (or using frequent flyer awards) is critical from people traveling from other countries. I'm not sure at all about being able to go this year, but such a definition may help to improve the chances. TIA.


I would like to know if there are advances regarding the HHC 2012 location.

Right now, the leading candidate is the HP facility in Houston, Texas.

Jake Schwartz


Is there a time frame being discussed for the HHC?



I believe the time has already been set at September 22 and 23, 2012.


Jake, thank you. If it is the previous Compaq campus, I have been there some 6 times over the years, and I may say it's a very fine place, indeed!


That's interesting. Not too far from where I live, so I might attend although I don't have anything to contribute.


We're told that this currently is the largest HP facility in the U.S.



You mean "don't have anything to contribute ... yet"

That's the beauty of these HHC gatherings. Plan to go. Think of something interesting to you about calculating, or whatever (we had discussions of making telescope mirrors a year or two ago).

Communicate that idea to the committee and let us see what we think!

But, by all means, please come. :-)


I was thinking about participating this year, but having read Michael's email, I was about to change my mind since I can not think of anything to contribute (interesting enough to keep everyone in the room and awake). Thanks for the feedback Gene, little bit more encouraging. How do we get in touch with the committe? Thanks!


Last year's site will do just fine:



It didn't take long to put this years conference geographically out of reach. Lol


Geographically out of reach...meaning what?

Are you outside the USA? This conference is almost always in the USA, but there is often a gathering in Europe in the fall as well.

Are you in the USA but not near Texas? Many, many people travel across the country and world to come to these HHC events.

What makes this out of reach? ...so far, not a single conference has been held within 2 hours driving time for me. :-)


You posted last years site would do fine. That was California wasn't it? If Houston is still on that would be in my range. :) Houston is a four hour drive for me.


Your mere presence is a valuable contribution. We all get together to enjoy the fellowship!



I heartily second Namir's comments.

I have been to only one HHC, and still remember the folks I met and the good time we all had. (And, I've even crossed paths with Namir a couple of times since then!)


Planning a side trip to NASA?


Planning a side trip to NASA?

That would make a very good reason to attend.

To be precise, another very good reason... :-)


Here are a few points of interest in the Houston area:

NASA Johnson Space Center link

Galleria link

San Jacinto Monument link

Kemah Boardwalk link


St. Arnold Brewery link

Haak Winery


The San Jacinto monument is nothing special, but the battleship Texas parked right next to it is well worth visiting.

Saint Arnold is always fun to visit; I'm going there again this Saturday. Bring your own food and arrive early so you can get a picnic bench to comfortably spend your day with friends.

Houston has many, many museums, too. The Museum of Natural Science has an interesting permanent exhibit on oil extraction. The Museum of Fine Arts, though not as nice as what you might find in, say, New York City, is still quite extensive (and they are about to start a large expansion project, adding perhaps 50% to the exhibit space). We have a holocaust museum too, and some more unusual museums, such as the Art Car Museum, the Museum of Printing History, and the Beer Can House.

But in some ways, the biggest thing Houston has to offer is restaurants. Sure, Michelin doesn't bother visiting Houston to "star" them, but I personally think it's the best place to eat out in the world, due to the combination of affordable prices, a wide variety of different foods due to the mix of different cultures, and a huge selection (more restaurants per capita than anywhere but NYC).



Lone star flight museum. http://www.lsfm.org/


From France, there is something that make the NASA Johnson Space Center special.

The every day job of the guys working there is about writing the USA history of space, the only place where they can say the same is in Florida.

I only regret that they didn't have a failure such as a 41C could have saved the butt of a shuttle :)


Near (but not inside of) Johnson Space Center, NASA has (or at least used to have) a nice place for visitors, with an exhibit of some real, flown spacecraft, not-flown boosters such as a Saturn V, astronaut spacesuits from different time periods, an IMAX theatre projecting impressive space films, a piece of lunar rock (so visitors can touch it), a space shuttle mockup, including cockpit, some simulators, etc. I've been there four times, but all of them were some years ago, so it may have changed. Of course, there was also a nice gift shop, with items ranging from videos and books to posters and paintings to T-shirts and keychains.

Edited: 14 Feb 2012, 4:13 p.m.


Things have changed a lot.

There's Space Center Houston, which is a commercialized museum/gift shop. Then you can take a trolley from there to the Johnson Space Center, where they let you go into a few buildings.

However, this has been cut back a bit in the last decade, so if you want to do some of the more interesting stuff (like using the actual simulators the astronauts use, or visit the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory) I think you might need to arrange for a special tour.

In front of JSC is the rocket park, with a bunch of unused rockets, including a Saturn V. Last time I was there it was completely open to the public, with everything rotting from exposure to the elements, but they have since built a large building to enclose them, and supposedly restored the Saturn V. I assume you could see this if you do the SCH tour; I don't know if this is still freely accessible to the public without a tour.

The JSC used to do an annual open house, where members of the public could freely see many of the facilities, covering far more than the normal SCH tour, but I don't think they've done that in years. That was a lot of fun.



Space Center Houston was the visitor facility indeed, I couldn't recall the name. I liked it a lot. But I was not able to visit any "real" NASA buliding; as you said a previous appointment was needed, and it's a difficult thing to arrange for a foreign visitor with little available time. Yes, rockets were shown on the outside of SCH. You had to pay a ticket to enter SCH and also for the "rocket tour".


Given how tight a schedule HHC seems to be run on, how many people would take the opportunity to avail themselves of a NASA side trip, or indeed any side trip?

Just wondering. HHC 2011 left just enough time for a nice sit-down supper in a very nearby restaurant.


Hi David. If the location for HHC 2012 is Houston, I would probably drive and visit some relatives along the way. In the past I've added a couple of days before and after the end of the conference to visit the local attractions and go on tours like NIST.

The first conference day can go from 8 AM to 10 PM so it gets long. The second day lasts until around 6 PM and by then I'm pretty tired. So, I suggest any group tours should be scheduled for the Friday before or the Monday after. I know it's hard for some of my fellow attendees to commit to coming in early or staying an extra day due to scheduling constraints or finances. Let's have some fun while in Houston. I always intend to enjoy myself as much as possible.



I would only have a four hour drive but would take at least one and maybe two days vacation for the side trips.


Just to set expectations, from the HP/Compaq Campus in North Houston (off of Hwy 249) to JSC in South Houston (off of I-45 and NASA Road 1) it is a good 60 miles. Given the route and 25 years experience with Houson traffic, I'd expect the drive to take an hour and a half at a minimum.

But, for those interested, I'd be glad to look into renting a tour bus for an afternoon that does not interfere with the HHC conference.

Mark Hardman

Houston, TX


But, for those interested, I'd be glad to look into renting a tour bus for an afternoon that does not interfere with the HHC conference.

Provided the HHCC2012 really will be at Houston:

I'll arrive on Thursday afternoon, and like others do I plan to support some preparatory work for the conference on Friday. I need to get more training in sacking the proceedings. :-)

The committee will be busy all Friday, and they deserve to have the oppurtunity for such an activity, if they like to.

Therefore I suggest that such an activity would be best suited on Monday afternoon, allowing for some cleanup activities in the morning. Concerning the transportation, I believe a lot of people will have a car. I'll have one, and more folks will join.

Nevertheless it would be great if you could do some planning beforehand enabling people to commit themselves.

Cheers, Günter


One of the times I was in Houston, I only had the "time window" for lunch at a conference (George Brown Convention Center, IIRC) as free time. With a fellow visitor, we hired a taxi, went from the convention center to NASA Houston Space Center, have the taxi waiting for us for an hour, and return to the conference just in time for the afternoon sessions. It was tight, but feasible (even on a regular weekday, not in a weekend). More time at HSC would have been better, but this arrangement was much better than nothing. The taxi costed U$S 100, and we shared the expense. Just recalling, it was my second visit to HSC...


FWIW, I stopped taking NASA seriously when they decided to use a Saturn V as a lawn ornament. That was some time ago.

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