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Nasa's Johnson Space Center
Before blasting into orbit, Nasa astronauts get a taste of life on-board spacecraft in this hangar-sized room.
The mock-up room at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, contains models of Nasa and its partners' spacecraft, including the Space Shuttle seen here. Among the models are the International Space Station and the Orion craft that will carry Nasa astronauts after the shuttle is retired.
Nasa uses the facility to train crew to navigate the spacecraft, carry out emergency drills and study the spacecraft's structure so that they will be able to carry out maintenance work.
As part of the training, astronauts also learn to access computers on board the spacecraft in case they need to replace hardware.
Johnson Space Center has been home to mission control for Nasa space missions for more than 40 years, as ZDNet UK's sister site silicon.com discovered during this tour of mission control through the ages.
Photo credit: Nick Heath/silicon.com