Thursday, November 1, 2012

Kennedy Space Center

I was super excited to visit the Kennedy Space Center during our vacation!
Finding our tickets at best of orlando for $34 (reg.$50) made it even more exciting!
The special is good through sometime in 2013 so if you'll be in Orlando in the next few months take advantage of the savings!

We waited for Ryan to be able to go with us to the space center, and I'm glad we did because he really enjoyed it. We all did!

The Rocket Garden.
I remember this being in an episode of the Amazing Race!

 Walking in the footsteps of the astronauts as they began their journey to the moon!
The girls showing off their superhuman strength!

The first thing we did was the Shuttle Launch Experience which simulates a shuttle launch.
Mom was a brave soul and did it with us!
Emma and Aiden did not want to launch, so they watched from the observation deck.
Once you are seated and belted in you are turned 90 degrees so you are in take-off position, and then the countdown begins.
As you prepare for launch you feel your shuttle shake and then it shakes even more with the launch!
As you begin to orbit earth, the top of your shuttle opens to give you a view of space and earth below.
It is as close to a real shuttle launch most people will ever be able to experience!
It was very cool!

The ticket also includes a bus tour that takes you out to see the launch pads and the Saturn V building which is where the Saturn V rocket and the Apollo spacecraft (which were used in NASA's moon missions) are on display.

So after our shuttle launch experience we boarded the bus and headed out to the observation/viewing deck.
As we drove by we saw the building where the shuttles are prepared for launch.
When the shuttle is ready it is moved out through these doors in the back of the building and the crawlers (which we also were able to see) move the shuttle to the launch pad.
At the observation deck there is an exhibit room which has this model of a shuttle on the launch pad.
The model has moving parts too, and a presentation on how a shuttle is prepared for launch runs continuously.
Aiden loved this!
Aiden brought along a library book that showed a shuttle launch and he was able to see many of the things pictured in his book in real life! He excitedly pointed things out from his book as we rode along in the bus, like the launch pad, the crawlers and the Nasa building. He had so much fun!
Next we went to the Saturn V building and saw a film on the space race and then we entered the actual control room that was used on the day of the Apollo 11 moon mission. In here they show another short film about the July 1969 mission to the moon.
Following the film in the control room we went into the building where the Saturn V rocket is housed. 
 It is impressive!
And apparently you just can't help but pose for a picture underneath it!
It's hard to see just how huge the rocket is, but it has 5 engines (you can see one in the corner of the picture) and it runs almost the entire length of the building!

Aiden was very impressed by this huge rocket.
So impressed that he went to the nearby Moon View Cafe,
leaned onto the counter on his elbow and told the cashier,
"That's one cool rocket ya got there!"
The cashier laughed, we laughed, and then she said, "Well thanks, but it's not mine!"

The building is filled with artifacts and information from the Apollo space program.
They even have a moon rock that you can touch!
And you can even walk on the moon! :)

Our favorite things about the Kennedy Space Center:

Seeing outer space in the shuttle launch experience.
The moon landing show in the Saturn V building.
Taking our moon pictures.
Seeing the Saturn V.
 Having greater pride and appreciation for America's space program!

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