Trip Of A Lifetime

Friday, January 20, 2006

Kennedy Space Center

While in Orlando, we figured that we should get out of Disneyworld for a day and check out the Kennedy Space Center. It's a bit more educational and looked like it might be interesting. Besides, Adie likes planes and space shuttles really are the ultimate planes.

We took a bus out there and it was really interesting to watch the marshlands begin to surround us. It was also a bit scary to look out the window and see a real live alligator sunning himself on the side of the road! Apparently there are hundreds of them in the parkland around the space center... I'm glad we only saw the one. All of the land out there is protected, so as well as alligators, they have bald-headed eagles and a whole variety of birds and wild life. (We actually saw a bald-headed eagle nest which is supposed to be the size of a king-size bed!)

We started at the Astronauts Hall of Fame. It was kinda interesting and it gave us some background to what we were about to see. It also had a G-Force Simulator. Adie tried this out, but I was too chicken. He got up to 4 Gs and then felt a bit wobbly for the next two hours.

From the Hall of Fame we went on to the actual Kennedy Space Center. Again we watched some films to give us some background before we headed off to the launch site and the Apollo/Saturn V Center. The launch site was interesting because they explained how they get the shuttles ready for a flight and then how they move them around etcetera. It's weird, I thought that this place was no longer in use and that it was all about tourism, but I was totally wrong. There's actually a flight scheduled for this month to send a thingie to Pluto! It's going to take it at least 15 years to get there.

Next we checked out the Apollo/Saturn V Center. This place has a whole lot of information about all of the individual Apollo missions as well as an actual rocket, the Saturn V. OMG this thing is huge! Adie was pretty impressed, and I have to admit so was I. We took the obligatory photos and ate lunch in the shadow of it's bulk.

Next we went back to the visitor's center where we walked through a replica shuttle before we watched an IMAX movie about man walking on the moon. (Incidentally, did you know that NASA intends to put man back on the moon by 2020?) The movie was narrated by Tom Hanks and it was really beautiful... and funny.

After the movie we were able to talk to an actual astronaut. His name was John Fabian and he has flown into space twice. The last time he flew was the mission just before the Challenger disaster, apparently he quit flying just days before that happened.

It's interesting, I didn't think that I would have a good time at the Space Center, but I really did. It put the whole notion of man in space into a context for me. It was fascinating, but I can't imagine why anyone would ever want to risk it! Space is beautiful though... and we must remember that, among so many other useful things, man flying beyond the stars has resulted in freeze-dried ice-cream.

4 Comments:

  • You know that thingie going to Pluto? My name's on it.

    A gift from Logan.

    (He's got this thing about space - as well as bits of metal - just like Adie has the thing about planes.)

    By Blogger Riss, at 9:46 pm  

  • Has it been launched yet Riss? They had to postpone due to inclement weather if I remember correctly.

    By Blogger noshie, at 7:00 pm  

  • It got sent into space last week. So at least one part of Riss get's a holiday!

    By Anonymous Heaven, at 9:57 pm  

  • At least my name got into space even if I'm never planning on it. Too scary for me. :)

    By Blogger Riss, at 1:44 am  

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