Kennedy Space Centre, Orlando
The shuttle launch pad, officially known as Launch Complex (LC) 39 Pads A and B are the last steps in the process of preparing a shuttle mission into space. The pads have supported NASA in many of its vehicles: Apollo/Saturn V, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and the Space Shuttle.
The tower stands 347 from ground level to the tip of the lighting mast, which itself is 80 feet tall and grounds the Pad from potential weather hazards. An important floor on the structure is the 195th, which is the point where the astronauts enter the orbiter. At the far end of the level is the Emergency Egress System which is a rapid escape system for any crew on that floor during an emergency. On the same level, the Orbiter Access Arm allows astronauts and support crew to enter the shuttle while it is on the pad. Other arms on the structure feed fuel into the External Tank and helps vent excess gas.
The Solid Booster Rockets are also located outside of the main gates.
The two SRBs provide the main thrust to lift the space shuttle off the pad and up to an altitude of about 150,000 feet, or 24 nautical miles.
Each booster has a thrust of approximately 3,300,000 pounds at launch. They are ignited after the three space shuttle main engines' thrust level is verified. The two SRBs provide 71.4 percent of the thrust at lift- off and during first-stage ascent.
Located outside the main gate of the Kennedy Space Centre is the Space Shuttle Explorer. Beside the Explorer is the Launch Status Center, where visitors receive live briefings on NASA launch and space flight activity. Guides provide excellent information about the Space Shuttle program during the day.
Daily briefings at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.
Engineered to handle the awesome power of Saturn liftoffs, a 525-foot high structure was built to assemble the mammoth boosters. This structure, now tagged the Vehicle Assembly Building, towered above the Florida landscape. It was capable of erecting four of the monstrous Saturn V boosters simultaneously. To move a fully stacked Saturn V to its launch pad, a giant diesel-powered crawler transporter would lumber across a specially-built roadway. A Launch Control Center served as the brains of the Moonport, directing mission support, fuel loading, and launch of the powerful Saturn launch vehicles.
The Kennedy Space Center is situated on Florida's central Atlantic coast, carved out of savanna and marsh in the early 1960s. Determined as ideal for launchings and landings, Kennedy's "space coast" real estate evolved from a sandy strip 34 miles long and five to 10 miles wide on Florida's east cost, midway between Jacksonville and Miami.
This is an excellent "MUST DO" for all visitors to Orlando, even if you are not a "space nut." The insite into this technology and the shear determination of mankind will "Blow you away"
A visit to Orlando would not be complete without a visit to Kennedy Space Center that serves as NASA's headquarters for launches. It is not often that a common person gets access to tour launch pads and KSC provides that option for a space buff's dream come true. This is one place where someone can pretend to be an astronaut and live out a dream.
Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at Cape Canaveral, is only about a 45 minute drive east of Orlando. With the atlantic ocean on one side, Cape Canaveral is almost like an island waiting to be gobbled up the vast ocean. When the rains and winds get heavier, KSC closes down and visitors are immediately advised to leave the area for more inward locations like Orlando.
Oh, SO happy that we went to the Kennedy Space Center. We got there a little late in the day, so we could only check out the exhibits and see an IMAX film, but oh... it was such a great decision to go!
If we'd gotten there earlier, we would have signed up for the tour of launch pads, the crawler, etc. Soooo cool.
I really enjoyed the visit to Kennedy Space Center. You get to experience and see lots of stuff that has to do with astronomy and space. You will especially get to see real or retired models of space shuttles, rockets, and capsules. Buses will carry you throughout the "park". There's an observation desk where you can see launches. The place is amazing. Definitely worth a visit!!
The space center is a very interesting spot to see. There is always something for every one there. They have everything from a cool video of an Apollo launch to a peice of the moon and even bald eagles and alligators.
Approximately 45 mins drive from Orlando is the home of US space exploration - the Kennedy Space Centre. Visit the launch pads and see the original rockets, shuttles and space station simulators.
On a clear night the launches can be seen from Orlando.
Cape Canaveral is also a nature reserve, with alligators and eagles ahring the site with NASA.
There is so much to see here for a space nut but don't let it put you off if your not.
I went on a launch day which is truly spectacular but the whole story of space exploration is fascinating.
The complex is in a conservation area full of wildlife such as alligators, armadillos and raccoons. The space centre has lots of interactive shows, a rocket garden, an original Apollo space craft and much more. You will probably at least see an astronaut there and can even dine with one.
The shop sells unusually high quality goods and the staff were all friendly and helpfull.
I would like to dedicate this tip to the crew of space shuttle Columbia on flight STS 107 who launched on the day of my visit and tragically lost there lives on February 1st 2003.
To see part of history like this is a chance of a lifetime. Dont miss it.
Kennedy Space Center is not more than an hour drive from Orlando, and it is a place that could easily be overlooked, but DON'T MISS IT. It will make you proud of the technology our country has given to the world. Children and adults will find plenty of interesting things at the Center from walking through a space shuttle to seeing the rocket garden, The HUGE SATURN 5 ROCKET exhibit, MISSION CONTROL and even a very educational and interesting ride out to view the shuttle launch area viewing area.There are many more things to see and I thought it was the attraction HIGHLIGHT of all the Fla. attractions I've seen.
Cape Canaveral is without doubt a place that changed human history: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Space Shuttle, ISS, ...let's see what the future brings.
The attractions: Rocket Garden, IMAX movies, space history exhibits, a full-sized walk-through Space Shuttle display, bus tours and much more.
Other space-related attractions are available nearby, including Space Camp, the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and the Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory at Brevard Community College.
Kennedy Space Center or Cape Canaveral shows what determination and a lot of dollars can create. A tour of the center with a walk among the giant rockets puts the space program in the correct perspective. What looked so easy on TV, looks huge and complex in reality. Just have a look at the 'sleeping' Saturn V rocket! If you're lucky there is a Space Shuttle waiting on the launch pad.
Visit the Kennedy Space Center
Drive around on a tour bus and see the Vehicle Assembly Building (pictured), climb an observation tower and if you're lucky you'll see a shuttle on the pad (albeit from a couple of miles away!). Walk round the museum areas. See the history of the United States' space effort.