Visiting NASA's Kennedy Space Center

Tuesday, July 12

One place in Florida I was especially excited to visit was The Kennedy Space Center. Despite this I didn't do a lot of research before visiting so I didn't really know what to expect. After all I didn't want to be disappointed after I had built it up in my head. Disappointed was the last thing I felt by the time we were leaving at 5pm.

One of the first places we went into was the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibition - after watching a short film about the development of the space shuttle program the doors opened into a huge space where Atlantis hung above us. Atlantis has travelled 125,935,769 miles in space which is pretty incredible.

For some reason I wasn't expecting to see the genuine shuttles that had gone into space and it was honestly breathtaking. In the same building there was plenty of artifacts, displays and interactive games which kept us interested for along time. Annoyingly Scott was much better at the simulators (similar to those used for training) than I was so I won't be getting a job anytime soon. 

I learnt so much from this exhibition alone I could have gone home but we had so much else to see. 

I wasn't expecting to get to go to the actual, working NASA site itself so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that a bus tour was also included in our standard admission ticket. They departed regularly so as it was started to rain we joined the short queue. 

We took a NASA bus for a drive-by view of a launch pad and then the historic Apollo 8 launch site. To see where the assembled the rockets, how they transport them to the site and see the launch site was fascinating. Even though I couldn't take in every detail of what our guide was saying. 

As if this wasn't enough there was a second area - the Apollo/Saturn V Center - where we could learn even more. 

Once inside we watched a film all about the Apollo program and America's mission to get people into space and then go to the moon. Afterwards you entered a huge space which contains the Saturn V rocket. At a giant 363-foot the rocket took 27 astronauts to the moon and back again.

The second film we watched inside was all about landing on the moon. While I thought I knew what happened I didn't realise how close it was to going wrong and how much the astronauts had to do alone when they lost contact with Earth. The 3D elements of the show really added to the wonder.

Scott and I easily spent the whole day here looking round the exhibitions. We also visited the Journey To Mars exhibition and the Rocket Garden. Sadly we missed out on the two films at the IMAX Theater but after getting back from the Saturn center we decided that we couldn't sit through two 45 minute films or take in more information.

It was by far the most interesting and educational day out of the whole holiday. Everything is presented in such an engaging way and the graphics in some of the shows are amazing. I'd never actually go to space but visiting the Kennedy Space Center was the next best thing. 

Basically all I'm trying to say is if you're going to Florida on holiday you have to visit the Kennedy Space Center too!

Want to know more about my trip to Florida?

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