The cruise ship stopped for one day in Port Canaveral, Florida. I wish it had stayed for three or four days, because there were so many options in terms of major tourist attracts. Disney World, MGM Studios, the Seaworld, the Kennedy Space Center. I had no solid plans, but found a crew member who didn’t have the right visa to leave the ship, and he sold me his tour ticket for the Kennedy Space Center.
And, being a total geek about space travel, and science fiction, visiting Cape Canaveral and seeing the NASA hardware up close is a life-long goal. I had a lot of fun, despite the jet lag, and learned a lot. Actually, I didn’t learn a whole lot of new stuff, but being there put everything I already knew into context in a way that reading and watching and listening about it can never match.
Kennedy Space Center
First feature: 3D IMAX movie about building the ISS. I love these goggles.
Next: a bus tour around the launch pads and Vehicle Assembly Building.
Fuel for rockets.
The launch pad for all the Apollo missions and half the Shuttle missions.
An old model of a Shuttle Orbiter, moved to make room for a real Orbiter in the Kennedy Space Center visitor center.
Saturn V rocket.
This thing is waaaaay bigger than I ever imagined.
Big. Very big.
Self portrait at the Saturn V.
Apollo 8 rentry capsule.
Introduction to the space race.
The real Apollo space launch command center, now transplanted to the Saturn V visitor center.
Our guide, Armand.
Saturn I computer controls.
A controlled bush burn got out of control, so we had to take the long route back to the visitor center.
Another tour guide, Tom.
Shuttle Launch Simulator. This is pretty much a box that shakes you about a lot, but in a very clever way. This is an iPhone photo as you aren’t allowed to take large objects like bags or cameras inside.
Saturn V engine. Just one engine had more power than all three Shuttle engines. And the Saturn V had FIVE of them.
The Murcury capsule and the Moon.
The Moon and the Murcury capsule.
Visitor center entrance with bush fire smoke behind.