Saturday, 16 April 2011

To Infinity and Beyond!

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The International Space Station

As well as going to the Harry Potter Exhibit for my birthday, I also visited Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. I was fortunate enough to go on the day of the 30th anniversary of the first Space Shuttle launch. Columbia was the first shuttle sent into space that could be reused after its return and to commemorate the day Kennedy Space Centre had a presentation and lots of astronauts walking around talking to people and taking photos!

That would be Endeavour behind me, yes.

The Space Centre is very interesting. The best way to see everything is to take the bus tour. This takes you out to the observation deck, from which we could see Endeavour - the second to last shuttle Kennedy will currently launch - on launch pad A. It then takes you to see a replica of the Saturn 5 launch when space history was made. The tour is very well narrated by your bus drivers and there are some very interesting things to see, including a selection of space suits and, my fave, a space suit repair kit!

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Endeavour on launch pad A

The Crawler used to move the shuttle to the launch pads

The Saturn 5's engines

A space suit repair kit!

After the bus tour we went back to the main visitors centre and saw the rocket garden - full of old rockets of course - and watched the Star Trek Live! show. This is lots of fun for kids. There is even an art exhibition to peruse of Kennedy related art.

The Rocket Garden

Inside a shuttle - still looking for the real astronauts we were promised!

At the end of the day we finally met a real astronaut. Bob Springer has spent over 200 hours in space, taken part in numerous experiments while up there and taken video footage in HD of our planet and its atmosphere for various documentaries - a very intelligent and space experienced man!

There he is! Our real astronaut Bob Springer!

Even though I do not consider myself a space nut, the Kennedy Space Centre was lots of fun. Add it to your list of great Florida attractions when you visit!

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