Man's Dream - The Kennedy Space Center

Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
Trip End Dec 10, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, November 16, 2008

The space station has definitely been on the agenda from the beginning, and after last night's launch, it was all the more real and meaningful. And there's so much to see here, that's it's another whole day affair.

The first thing to do is to hop on the tour bus that takes you around some of the 4000 acres .... Only 10 percent of this is actually used for the space station, the rest of the land is put aside for future and also quite in contrast to spaceships, is used for wildlife.   Speaking of which, we managed to see alligators on our tour, bald eagles, and what looked like wild boar .... A long way from rockets!

Anyway, the park tour bus left at 10.00am and we travelled about 10 minutes and came to our first stop which was the observation deck, which gives you 360 degree views of the launch pads.  From here, after walking about 4 flights of steps (4 observation levels), we could see right across to the very launch pad, that was used to launch The Endeavour just last night.   With the 'telescope things' they provide, you saw every detail, right down to the pipes along the ground and the bulldozers that looked like 'tonker toys' next to the enormity of the scaffolding/elevators and levels that make up the launch area.  It was surreal.

From there (another 10 minutes down the road), we visited the Apollo Centre which recreates the whole Apollo launch.  You walk out from the theatre (they have movies and recreations at every stop, just so you're in the right head space), and into this massive, massive warehouse, looking straight at the end of a 363 foot moon rocket!   All the way along, they have information with photos depicting the various Apollo adventures.   We actually decided to stop at the café, that was right there in the warehouse and have a sandwich, just so we could savor the enormity of it all.

Final stop on this incredible journey, was the International Space Station Center.  There's not a lot of thought often given to the actual space stations , but these are like houses joined together  by corridors.  We looked around them, just as you would look around a house, except, they had space for laboratory testing etc.  Many astronauts now travel to the space station to work, obviously for weeks on end, but   ... imagine hopping on a rocket to go to work, and then arriving at work in the middle of space!!!

 When I think we could have been one day later, or one day earlier, but here we were, arriving in the city last night, in time to see the launch, having already planned to do a tour of the space station today.   The timing could not have been more perfect or more significant, even if we'd tried to plan it. 

Drove from here thru to Orlando....arrived latish and decided to camp out in a Walmart carpark.
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