The one thing that I always wanted to do when I made it to Florida was go to Kennedy Space Center. If you read this blog on a regular basis, then you know that I am a space nut. I love living in Houston, partly because it is Space City USA.
Today I finally made it out to Kennedy. I didn't get to do everything that I wanted, but by the end of the day I felt good about my visit. When we got there the tour that I really wanted to take to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) was already sold out, and the other tour only had two seats left. We grabbed those two seats even though there were three of us in my party. After a quick bite to eat and a walk to the Memorial Wall my cousin's wife and I got on the bus for the tour. My cousin decided to be the odd man out today.
The tour I took was called Cape Canaveral: Then and Now. We actually went on to Patrick Air Force Base and because of that everyone who went on this tour had to submit state identification or passports. The tour made several stops including the block house where they launched the first US rocket into space, the block house and landing pad where Alan Shepard became the first American into space, and a landing pad where a fire claimed the astronauts of Apollo 1. For someone who loves early American manned space history as much as I do this was a great tour.
On the way back to the visitor center we drove by the VAB and thankfully I was on the right side of the bus to get some good photos. We went to the Saturn V facility and it was fun to share that experience with my cousin's wife who had never seen a Saturn V rocket before.
Once we were back on the main complex site we went to a shuttle simulation "ride" which was very well done. I say "ride" because it mostly shook us around but since I have always heard a shuttle launch described that way I enjoyed it. Then it was a quick spin to the gift shop and my day at Kennedy Space Center was done.
Next summer Space Shuttle Atlantis will be on display at KSC, and even though I am still upset that Houston did not get a space shuttle, I would dearly love to see one so I will be back. There is so much that I didn't get to see and do and I could spend all day at anything flight or space related.
Thus ends my epic three days in Orlando Florida. Tomorrow I head back to Houston. It was a fun spring break.