Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kennedy Space Center, Florida

“Houston we have a problem” or “One giant step for mankind…” or “We have lift-off…” these quotes are reminders from the USA space race.

Well you don't need to be a space junkie to enjoy NASA's Kennedy Space Center. This is the only spot in the United States from which humans were launched into space. The John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is the United States launch site and has been used for every NASA human space flight since December 1968. Located on Merritt Island, Florida, the center is northwest of Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic Ocean, midway between Miami and Jacksonville on Florida’s coast.  

Manned flights are now on hiatus but KSC is still in full operation. It continues to manage and run unmanned rocket launch facilities for the U.S. government's civilian space program. The operation staff has been reduced, as new and old contractors continue to prepare for new advancements into other space programs. Its Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) is the fourth largest building in the world by volume, and was the largest when completed in 1965. It too sets empty waiting for the new rockets and equipment for the Mars journey.

Standing in the center of the vehicle assembly building we were dwarfed by its mammoth height. This is where rockets, capsules or shuttles were last assembled before being driven to the LC39 launch site on the enormous crawler. The crawler moves at less than 5 mph with hundreds of tons of precious cargo. Large pictures show the launching to outer space for the US space program.

Smoke bellows and engines growl as these enormous rockets lift their cargo out of the bounds of earth.

Starting December 1968, the launch operations were conducted from Pads A and B at Launch Complex 39. Both pads are on the ocean, 3 miles east of the VAB. From 1969–1972, LC-39 was the departure point for the six Apollo manned Moon landing missions. They used the Saturn V the largest and most powerful operational launch vehicle in history. It was used from 1981–2011 for the Space Shuttle launches.  
We traveled to the LC-39 press viewing site 5 miles from the lunching site where, the press, astronaut wives and company presidents viewed these liftoffs. 


It was an emotional moment as they opened the doors from the waiting room into the Space Shuttle Exhibit. 

This national treasure, the Space Shuttle Atlantis was ready to embark on an exciting adventure once again.  
The angled display of the Shuttle made it look as if you were standing in front of this soaring ship.

I felt that we were following right along with the crew upon inspecting the open cargo bay. 
From the shuttle’s tail we observed it soaring by on mankind’s epic journey into space. Catching our breath we walked on to see the collection of space memorabilia from rocks to spacesuits in the museum. 

With many dynamic changes made in the spacesuits quality and comfort are the new standards . Neal Armstrong’s moon suit hangs in the Smithson Museum in Washington DC but several others hang here representing the glory of other moon walks.

Everyone wants in the space program even Snoopy, Charlie
Brown’s famous dog.  Peggy couldn’t resist stopping to say hello.

As we left the parking lot after a full day of sightseeing (space programs) we viewed the sunset over the Florida coastline knowing there was yet more to come.

Happy Feet Great Travels
George (with Peggy & Coco)

No comments:

Post a Comment