Fleeton Year of Adventure travel blog

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Visitors entrance

Space shuttle "Explorer" - a replica to climb in

Shuttle solid fule tank and boosters, behind the shuttle and beside the...

The visitor center "Rocket Garden" (the big one is a Saturn 1-B)

The fleet of buses which went all around the Cape area

The launch control bunker - used for Alan Shepherd's Mercury 7 rocket

Armadillo - we saw them everywhere from the buses, but hard to...

The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, of course.

The deserted launchpad for Apollos 1 and 7, with blast deflectors in...

Space shuttle launch pad

Apollo launch control (re-assembled in the visitor centre)

Saturn V rocket, refurbished and laying on it's side (it's the same...

One of the actual recovered Gemini space capsules

Astronaut Hall of Fame, near the Visitor Complex

Vehicle assembly building, where the shuttle is raised upright and married to...

International Space Station assembly building - this is a freight container which...

We spent two days at the Kennedy Space Center and all its visitor facilities, and we still didn't see everything. They have huge museums split up between different buildings, and many simulators and multi-media presentations, as well as bus tours around their various compounds. We did one tour which was about the history of space flight, so we went out to the old launch sites on the Cape and saw some of those places as well as the air force launch facilities. We did the main tour as well, which went out to the Apollo/Saturn building which housed an entire Saturn V rocket (the biggest ever built) which carried men to the moon. This tour also went to the International Space Station Assembly Building, where you could see new segments being built and prepared to go to the station in one of the shuttles' remaining flights. We went on the space shuttle launch simulator, where a crown of people are strapped into seats which move around and turn you over, to help simulate the forces of gravity (and lack thereof). We did NOT try out the G-force ride, which actually spins you to 4 times normal gravity. Everywhere we went were pieces of space equipment, most real (but not all had been to space of course). We did not get taken into the vehicle assembly building, which is huge. You can't tell from the photograph, but if you look at the photo, imagine that ONE stripe of the American flag on the building is 8 feet wide - that will give you an idea of it's size. Of course, if they can put the shuttle laying down AND standing up attached to its rockets inside, it has to be big. The crawler tractor used to move the assembly to the launch pad was sitting outside. We hadn't planned on spending two days at the Cape, but our ticket was good for two days so we saw as much as we could. (Oh, and saw our first alligators there, as well as armadillos, egrets, and a roseate spoonbill.)

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