Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral
You will see KSC's industrial area to see NASA HQ, the operations & Checkout building, as well as the International Space Station Centre. In addition you'll get a close up look at the Space Shuttle launch facilities from the scenic AB Camera stop, the Vehicle Assembly Transporters, as well as the Shuttle Landing Facility.
The Rocket Garden is a little boys dream come true - rockets placed strategically around the garden as though they are decorative sculptures and there are chances to walk across real walkways, used by astronaughts, sit in cockpits and of course - play in the fountains water!
It's very child friendly, the information given is easy to digest, even for the little people - for example "see that building over there with the American flag painted on it? Well, the stripes are SO big that each one you could drive a coach down"!
It is fab and if you don't go... more fool you!
If you can plan your trip to coincide with a launch - yippeee!
Contact Kennedy Space Centre, 321 867 4636 www.kennedyspacecenter.com/html/see_launch.html
to find out if there is a luanch during your visit. You can order tickets to watch the whole launch but it is also possible to get good viewing from various places around (including the Brewer Pkwy bridge in Titusville). If you are nowhere near Kennedy it is still possible to see the rocket soar up - I was in The Magic Kingdom when one went off and, whilst I didn't see the ground level action, I certainly heard it and saw it zoom off into space leaving a vertical trail behind it.
It is important to remember that things can go wrong, conditions may change for the worse and the launch may be postponed. The luck of the draw I am afraid!
The Space Shuttle program was originally conceived to carry all kinds’ payloads into space for NASA However two accidents in 1986 and 2003 brought the program into troubles. Here one can see the Space Shuttle from close up.
Here one can see the discomfort the first astronauts underwent on their voyage to outer space. I tried to imagine to be put inside this capsule but honestly – for four days on the way to the moon…. and then back again… I am not sure….
Imagine the power of those thrusts to carry this heavy rocket into space. Now one can walk below it and simply fall into astonishment as to how technology carried humans to the boundaries of 20th century exploration.
Here one can follow a complete simulation of the firing of a Saturn Rocket, the count down to the launch as well as the first minutes in space. The effects including sound and even light indicating the rocket outside are quiet remarkable.
Here the Kennedy Space Centre launch team gathers to direct, prepare and monitor the launch. It is home to computers that control the last nine minutes of the countdown and also house the offices of the managers that work with the Shuttle fleet.
Many different rockets allow a historical walk through the history of space explorations with various types of rockets on display. Redstone, Atlas and Titan rockets are some of the first ones that flew the first US citizens to space.
Many lives were lost in the process of the exploration of our universe. Two Space Shuttle Accidents in the last 20 years went through the media many others happened and here the Astronauts that have lost their lives are honoured in this memorial
Here one can get the tickets to the restricted area of the Kennedy Space Centre. Busses carry visitors from here to the Saturn and Apollo Centre and the various other stops en-route. A shop and an IMAX movie house are also part of the visitors complex.
At the back of Kennedy Space Center stands a large mirror memorial and plaques dedicated to all those who have lost their lives in the pursuit of their dreams, and ours, including the Columbia crew. Be sure to take time to pay your respects to these brave men and women.
Book this bus tour and be driven around the Apollo/Saturn V Center, LC 39 Observation Gantry and the International Space Station Center. These tours may not operate on certain launch days, so check before you go.
There are lots of different tours and attractions and depending on what you want to see and do, the prices for tickets will vary.
Experience the recreation of events in the 'Firing Room Theater' which contains 'real' launch consoles, status boards, countdown clocks and other various equipment that NASA used during the Apollo program. It's a real adrenalin rush!
To get to the entrance, and the entrance is at the same level as the flight deck, you have to climb quite a number of stairs. The space shuttle does not look that awfully big from the outside, but once inside, you actually realize what a dinosaur it is!!!
The picture shows me in front of the glass wall that separates flight deck from the 'body' of the shuttle. The flight deck is, of course, used to fly the orbiter during actual launches and landings. You can also visit the mid-deck where shuttle crew work on experiments, sleep & eat. In one word: unique experience!!!
The space shuttle Explorer that you'll find on display here, as I learned later on, is not the real NASA shuttle orbiter but a full-sized replica. Still, it does not diminish the experience. You can also enter inside - check my next must see activity to see the flight deck.