Orlando...visiting NASA

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

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Friday, August 22, 2008

So i went to Florida after my Dawson's Creek/One Tree Hill adventure. It was humid the minute my plane landed. I had a late flight so i arrived at 5pm and was at my hotel by 6.30 after taking a shuttle. I only went to Orlando for one sole reason, although i'd always wanted to go there anyway, but to see NASA, the Kennedy Space Center was by far worth going down there for.
I woke up early the next morning as i had to be at a hotel across the street before 7.30am so i made sure i was ready to go see NASA by then. I got on the shuttle, then they picked up from 3 more hotels then went to a parking lot with shops and waited for other buses since not everyone on my bus was going where i was, the company does different tours. So by 9am i was on my bus that was headed for Kennedy Space Center. By 10am we were there. Firstly we went to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. That was really good. Plus it reminds you exactly how many people have gone up there or tried to and failed. I saw space suits, rocket models, everything that could give you an idea of what space travel is like. So we got an hour there, and then got back on the bus to the actual main center. It was very exciting walking through the gate and knowing i was in such a great place that had achieved so much. Security was obviously tight, they made you turn on every device you had so they knew it was a camera or ipod and not a bomb though i guess you could do it regardless anyway and have a fake screen light up when you turn it on, but owel that's what they made you do.
I hadn't thought about where i wanted to go first, so i did the first thing that i saw which was the tour. This was really alot of fun. They put you all on buses (every 10mins a bus comes so you don't have to wait long), and the first stop was the launch pad 39A and B. Florida is very humid obviously so my camera kept fogging up when i was at the observation deck for these. So if the photos are hazy or blurry that's why. It was cool to see them though, and we were at the closest they allow visitors to go so its quite far but necessary for safety reasons. You could take your time there to and just catch the next bus that dropped people off so it was organised very well. The next stop after that was about Apollo/Saturn V rocket, you watched a video about it, then go into a control room that re-enacts the lift off in the control room, and then they open this door and you walk through into this huge room that's like a warehouse, and there is the Saturn V rocket above you. It was so cool, and although i expected something big i never expected it to be that big so it was quite funny. But everyone just like gasps as they walk into this room cos you can't believe what you are seeing. It was gigantic and hopefully the pictures give you that impression. The next stop and the last one was the International Space Station, it has a replica space station that you walk through and see how they live. You can see how they shower and how the toilet is and the food they eat so it was very interesting to see scrambled eggs in a pouch that when they add water to it it becomes hydrated so they can eat it...quite gross but understandable for how they live up there. That tour by the end lasted about 2 hours, so that's how much there was there. It was really good, and i learnt alot.
After that i walked to where a space shuttle was on display so you got to see inside that which was awesome, and then i went into a rocket garden that had all these rockets in it so that was cool.
But by far one of the best parts to the whole day was going in the lift off simulator. You go in this ride where you sit in rows and buckle in and then watch a screen as you lift off. You are sitting in a shuttle and they rotate you so you are laying on your back. Then when you lift off you can hear the rockets blasting loudly and as you begin to go all you do is vibrate so hard in your chair your whole body is shaking, and this lasts 2 minutes. Then you kinda have a few bumps and then all of a sudden you just glide like how it feels in an areoplane but its just different you are floating almost. They then open the roof of the shuttle and you can see the stars and the earth above you, a real made sky not on a screen or anything, and everyone is just like wow! it was truly fantastic and i'm really glad i went on it. Real astronauts have gone on it and have said its the most realistic feeling to lifting off into space they have gone on aside from the real thing, so they have gone to alot of effort to do this.
I then went and saw a few things on mars and other stuff like that, and at 4pm they had a astronaut speaking about his experience. So that was really cool. His name was Charlie Walker and he has been into space 3 times so he knows what he's talking about. So i had a picture with him and by then it was time to get back on the bus at 5pm. I met an Australian lady who had her husband and kids with her andit was good talking to someone from home.  We were talking about the hurricane that was heading our way, and worried about our flights cos i was leaving the next day at lunch but they weren't leaving until the following day after me so they were worried they wouldn't get their plane to London with the weather.
When i got back to my hotel the weather was starting to turn. It was still very still, no wind but you could just feel it in the air. I was watching tv until about midnight cos i was too scared to go to sleep cos they kept saying tornado warning in your area on the tv so it was scary. But when i woke upthe next morning and got my shuttle at 10am the weather had only just began to go grey and was lightly spitting with rain. There wasn't any wind really, so i knew i'd be safe to fly out. And its lucky i did go at lunch because the paper the next day said 200 flights had been cancelled at Orlando airport and that wasn't even where the hurricane was yet! So i was very lucky.
Well that's about everything from Orlando, i was lucky to get out when i did and had a great time at NASA. I recommend anyone should visit there if they are in the US it was great.

Love to all,
Toni xoxo
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