Off to the Kennedy Space Center today. We got up at a decent time, although we were a bit tired from all the travelling, and had breakfast in the hotel. Decent selection and quiet because it was relatively early.
Rosemary dressed up for NASA in her pink t-shirt we bought for her our last trip (at the shop at the airport as we didn’t visit KSC last time).
We had an uneventful and relatively boring drive down to the coast. And managed to make payment at all the toll booths.
We got our tickets on arrival (only thing we hadn’t pre-booked) and headed in. Pre-booking everything worked well for us, because it was done at an exchange rate of about $1.45 to the £, but by the time we went it was around $1.20. So saved ourselves a fair bit of cash this way.
We headed straight for the coach to go out to the Apollo exhibition. On the way we got a great tour of the facilities and all the changes that are happening around the launch pads to allow commercial companies like Space X to be involved.
When you arrive you first have a recreation of the Apollo 8 launch from the firing room which was used at the time. Great little show, with the windows rattling as the launch “happens” outside.
Once we were in the main hall we were getting hungry, and although it was early it was at least mid-afternoon as far as we were concerned. So we grabbed some food at the Moon Rock Cafe and ate it literally right underneath the Lunar Lander.
After some much needed food we looked around at the Saturn V. Always shocked by how big it is, even though we’ve seen it a few times now.
And how small the command module is for those 3 astronauts. Don’t think I’d be able to cope with the claustrophobia.
We had a good look around the exhibits and the spacesuits. Some of them look like the could have come from a 1950’s sci-fi movie.
And we had to go and touch the moon rock.
We couldn’t leave without trying on the space helmets though.
We headed back to the main complex after that on the bus. It was certainly hot, and can’t say we were quite used to it yet. That warm in December just doesn’t seem quite right somehow. So we got Rosemary a bowl of Space Dots. Look pretty to start with, but by the time the colours melt into each other you have a bowl of brown goop.
And after that we went into see the Space Shuttle. Rosemary was getting tired by this point so we were taking it relatively easy. Think we were all feeling a bit of jet lag. After sitting through the pre-show we went through to the main exhibition hall. The very nice guy who was guiding people in offered to take a photo of us all.
We had a nice slow look around and Rosemary played on the simulator. It’s a great thing for kids as there are hundreds of switches and levers to play with.
Rosemary was very brave (braver than me) and crawled through the ISS exhibit which has a clear tube which is about 3 stories from the ground.
She also had a number of goes down the slide they have there, which is super steep and meant to give you a moment of zero-g.
After this we went to the Mars exhibit, although didn’t stay too long there as there were some presentations going on and they were well underway.
At the end of the exhibit were some computers where you could send a postcard home from space. The one of Rosemary came out great and you get a free souvenir of your visit as well.
We then went through the Rocket Garden to the Heroes and Legends exhibit. This is new since our last visit and is about the Mercury astronauts. It started off with a 3D show where you stand in a large room and the projections are all round you. Unfortunately the show broke down during the performance and we were ushered out into the exhibit itself. We would have gone round and watched it again but it was getting late and there was only 1 more show I think that day in any case.
There was a mock up of the Mercury capsule mounted ontop of a Redstone booster. Sorry about the slight distortion, it was shot as a panorama to get it all in shot.
They also have the control room set up with recording playing of conversations.
Was definitely getting late by this point but I wanted to take a walk around the Rocket Garden.
And it was a good opportunity for Rosemary to have a nice play. There were some fountains that children could play in that came on and went off. She got soaked through, but we popped her into a t-shirt we’d just bought in the shop and she was more than happy to sit in the car and dry off.
We had a great day at the Space Center and headed back to Orlando for dinner.