Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Kennedy Space Center

Rocket Garden
And we're off again. The Frozen Four in Tampa is over so we are on the road again. First stop was to go to the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral. The first thing you see when you walk in are rockets, how fitting. We did our Disney approach and headed for the back of the complex first and worked our way to the front. That meant we started out with the Atlantis Space Shuttle. Wow, we got our money's worth immediately. The Atlantis on display is the actual orbiter that flew 33 missions and over 125 million miles. You can see the wear, such as streaks on the tiles and dirt around the entry hatch from 26 years of people getting in and out. It was awe inspiring to walk around and view this amazing piece of history.

Space Shuttle Atlantis

Vehicle Assembly Building
Four doors, each 456 feet tall
Several of the missions performed from Atlantis were to deploy and make repairs to the Hubble Telescope. Another of our favorite things at the Space Center was a 40 minute, 3D, IMAX film on the Hubble. It covered the space shuttle missions centered around it but also showed phenomenal film footage taken by Hubble. There really are no words to describe how spectacular this film was.

Those were our favorite parts of the visit. We probably would have thought more highly of the bus tour had we sat on the right side of the bus. Everything that we drove by was on the right side. We sat on the left and thus couldn't see well at all (so hint - if you go, sit on the right side of the bus as you are facing forward). On the return trip I was able to get longer distance pictures of the Vehicle Assembly Building but never got a good view of the gigantic crawler-transporter that is used to move the rockets and space shuttles from assembly to launch pad. The road to the launch pads was also closed for repair so we didn't get to see a launch pad.

In summary, it is expensive to get in, but worth it.

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