Saturday, April 10, 2010

Kennedy Space Center Visit

The place sure had changed in 28 years.  We came to Florida on our first Disney World vacation in 1982 and we spent one day driving over to see the Kennedy Space Center on that trip.  Our kids were young but very much interested in the space program so all 4 of us enjoyed our day.  Back then there sure wasn't as much to see as there is now in 2010.

Since we are planning to make this our last trip to Florida for a long, long time we decided to take the opportunity and come over to the Space Center again.  We are so glad we made that decision as it was a wonderful place to re-visit.  Our ticket was an all-inclusive deal which gave us admission for the bus tour, IMAX theater, Shuttle Launch Experience, space artifacts, and the entire grounds and displays in the visitor complex.  Bus tours begin at 10:00 and we were ready to get started.  (click on photo for a larger view)

Our first stop on the tour was the Apollo/Saturn V Center.  On view above us is the largest rocket ever made....the Saturn V.  This was America's lunar transportation and it is 363 feet long. In this center, you can watch a video of Neil Armstrong's historic first steps on the moon in 1969.  The original control room was moved to this center for us to see.  There was also the transport van on view.  This was the vehicle used to take the astronauts in the Apollo/Saturn program back and forth to the launch pad.

There are examples of the different mission insignia above, hanging from the ceiling.  I took a photo of the Apollo 11 insignia.  We also saw a model for the lunar vehicle which the astronauts used to drive around on the moon's surface.
This is a model of the lunar landing module which brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon's surface.  There was also a space suit on display, complete with the moon boots.
After we finished with the Apollo center, we hopped on another bus and rode out to the launch pad and the Observation Gantry.  We  saw a briefing film and then went out to the gantry for a 360 degree view of the launch pads, the crawlerway and the Vehicle Assembly Building.  It was a cool, windy day and clouds were threatening rain, but we could still see the launch pads easily. 

Launch pad 39 A and the crawler way.  The shuttle is moved from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad by a crawler that moved 1 mile per hour.  It takes from 6 to 8 hours to get the shuttle in place for launch.
Below is the "crawler".
This is the Vehicle Assembly Building which is the final stop before moving out to the launch pad.   
There is a lot more to see here including a Shuttle Launch experience.  Here you are strapped into seats like an astronaut and experience the sounds and moving sensations of a real shuttle launch.  It was great.  There is a Nature and Technology Center, Rocket Garden, Astronaut Memorial exhibit and cafe and gift shops.  We saw the IMAX presentation "Magnificent Desolation" which took us on a mission to the moon.  Awesome.

We spent over 6 hours at the center and did not see everything.  It is worth the $40.00 ticket price and I would recommend visiting the Kennedy Space Center if you are ever in the Cape Canaveral area. 

Until next long for now!


John and Ellen said...

Thanks Margie for the great tour and pictures. We have been there too, but it was years ago. From your descriptions, it appears there is much more to see today.

Cindy said...

Thanks for the tour!! I was there in 1970 when I was in High School..lets just say I was not this was nice to see

Cindy and Walker

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Wow that goes on the must see list,I hope my bucket is big enough to hold the list we are compiling,Sam would especially like this,his Mom used to say "boys like anything that makes lots of noise and is big and smelly". We certainly found that to be true with our four boys.You guys are sure enjoying the sights, Be safe out there. Sam & Donna

Chris said...

A few years ago we did that same tour. Isn't that Shuttle Launch Experience something. We took 3 of our grand kids with us, but they were not as thrilled about the tour as I was.I worked on the NASA program back in the day, so I was very interested .

Happy Trails,

squawmama said...

It is a wonderful place to visit Margie... We have been there several times since we live directly across the state on the other coast. It is very interesting! GREAT pictures
Have fun & travel safe

Carol K said...

We have been to Kennedy Space Center. I enjoyed seeing it again through your eyes. Thank you for the tour!

Happytrails said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful tour of the space center. It has been many many years since I was there and obviously much has changed. I can't wait to return.
Super pics.

Have fun!
Mike & Gerri (

Wild Blue Yonder said...

Got that one marked off on the "must see" list for sure. Thanks for sharing and great photos!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

I took my kids there back in the early 90's ... guess we should put that back on the list again!

Karen and Steve

Rick and Paulette said...

Your blog brought back a lot of happy memories for me, Margie - especially some of the pictures! We visited the Kennedy Space Center with our kids in the mid-90's. We weren't RV'ing though - I was in Orlando to attend an IBM Conference and Paulette and the girls just "snuck" aboard the plane at the last minute - something about Disney World!!

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