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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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