Kennedy Space Center

We planned our entire vacation in Florida around a scheduled shuttle launch set for Thursday of the week we were there.  Unfortunately, on Tuesday the launch was scratched due to technical difficulties.  While we missed out on seeing a launch in person, the lack of crowds made it possible to tour Kennedy Space Center with ease, and obtain these pictures.

Entrance to Kenendy Space Center Visitor's Center

This is the entrance to the Visitors Center at Kennedy Space Center.  Note the "Rocket Garden" on the left.  Everything starts from here.  In fact, many of the exhibits are right here at the Visitors Center, including 2 separate IMAX theatres and a real space shuttle that you can board.  Self-paced tour buses leave from here every 20 minutes to take passengers on the entire loop of visitor accessible sites.  You are free to stop off at each site for as long as you want.  And if you miss your bus, don't worry:  another will be along shortly.

Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center.jpg (34657 bytes) Early Space Exploration Exhibit Entrance.jpg (28896 bytes) Space Shuttle Exhibit.jpg (26493 bytes) Space Shuttle Payload Bay.jpg (30767 bytes) 

The Rocket Garden is naturally close to the entrance, but so is the Early Space Exploration Exhibit as well as the Space Shuttle Exhibit which allows you to enter an actual shuttle retired there on display.

Earth & Space Station Simulation.jpg (28128 bytes) International Space Station Model.jpg (26979 bytes) Space Station Habitat Sections.jpg (23743 bytes) Loading Liquid Oxygen.jpg (28563 bytes)

At one stop on the tour you can learn about the International Space Station, tour mock-ups of the space station modules, and watch work on the actual modules that will become a permanent part of the space station.  They were loading liquid oxygen the day we were there.

NASA Administrative Headquarters.jpg (29599 bytes) Vehicle Assembly Building from across the Bay.jpg (18466 bytes)  LC-39A Launch Pad.jpg (17938 bytes) LC-39B Launch Pad.jpg (21074 bytes) Space Shuttle on Launch Pad.jpg (24719 bytes) Shuttle on LC-39A Launch Pad.jpg (26794 bytes)

Other parts of the tour take you past the NASA Administrative Building, the Vehicle Assembly Building and a tower from which VIPs can view shuttle launch.  Like I said, canceling the launch wasn't all bad.  After all, how else could we have ended up in the VIP tower?

Apollo - Saturn V Center

Apollo Saturn V Center Entrance.jpg (22435 bytes) Apollo 07 Sign.jpg (32818 bytes) Apollo 08 Sign.jpg (30469 bytes) Apollo 09 Sign.jpg (32311 bytes) Apollo 10 Sign.jpg (33915 bytes) Apollo 11 Sign.jpg (38148 bytes)

Apollo 12 Sign.jpg (34661 bytes) Apollo 13 Sign.jpg (38146 bytes) Apollo 14 Sign.jpg (37514 bytes) Apollo 15 Sign.jpg (40761 bytes) Apollo 16 Sign.jpg (40529 bytes) Apollo 17 Sign.jpg (40194 bytes)

Apollo Cockpit.jpg (45179 bytes) Apollo 13 Capsule.jpg (21134 bytes) Apollo 13 Spacesuit.jpg (23102 bytes) Lunar Rover.jpg (27081 bytes) Saturn V Third Stage Rocket.jpg (53422 bytes) Vehicle Assembly Building from Apollo Saturn V Center.jpg (23881 bytes)

The Saturn V Rocket that powered the Apollo missions to the moon is still the most powerful vehicle ever built by man.  This center has everything you would ever want to know about the Apollo missions or the Saturn V Rocket.  It includes a mini-theatre, an entire Saturn V Apollo Rocket from First Stage to Capsule suspended overhead, and an actual moon rock that you can touch.  There are even bleachers behind the center with a nice view across the bay of the Vehicle Assembly Building and the shuttle launch pads.

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