Kennedy Space Center-To the Space Station...or Not

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
Trip End May 16, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, January 13, 2008

The day we went to the Kennedy Space Center was Sunday the 23rd. We got up early for the drive to the Space Coast. The drive took less time than expected so we ended up waiting for the admission booth to open. We decided to take the Up Close Tour that would enable us to get as close as possible to the shuttle launch pads. Since we were one of the first in the admission line we were on the first tour of the day. The 2 hour tour took us around most of the Kennedy grounds from the NASA Causeway to driving right next to the 39B shuttle launch pad and getting out to within 5000 ft of the 39A launch pad where the Atlantis shuttle has been waiting to take-off from since the beginning of December. We also drove by the Shuttle landing runway, launch control, the orbiter processing facilities and got out to view the vehicle assembly building, probably the largest open space building in the world.
We were dropped off at the Apollo/Saturn V Center where we had lunch then grabbed another bus to visit the International Space Station Center where we were able to see Dextre, Canada's next contribution to the Space Station, the robotic fingers that will greatly increase the usefulness of the Canadarm. It is scheduled to go up on the next shuttle to be launched. We were able to see a crocodile up close and an eagle in its nest. The tour was extremely informative about the workings of the space program.
Returning to the visitor center we joined the line for the Shuttle Launch experience. A ride that simulates a real shuttle launch without the back breaking G forces. It was mid afternoon by this time and it was Nicholas' and my turn to not be feeling well so we skipped the Astronaut Hall of Fame Museum and headed back to the campground.
...and now my blog is up to date!
PS. The news out of NASA yesterday is that the shuttle is scheduled to launch on February 7th...2 months later than planned. I should be on the road that day heading west away from New Orleans. Oh well! An experience I didn't get to have.
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