Out the door at 7:30 this morning, in order to catch the Bus for a tour of The Kennedy Space Centre that we all arranged to take! Great day for it, with nice warm Florida Temperatures.
They have built a great new Visitor's Centre on the Grounds, and we spent the whole day here, not seeing everything that we wanted to by far! It is a least a two or three day Tour now.
Now, I did go a bit picture crazy today with the iPhone, but bear with me, as I simply love these places, and I would have stayed all night if they had let me!
Last year when we were in Florida, I wanted to come and visit, but we never did make it! The Bus tour out of our Park was a good deal $$$$ wise, so we all jumped on the opportunity. A big BONUS to me, was that we were able to sign up for a regular feature now at the Centre, "Lunch with an Astronaut Perfect. The Astronaut we got to meet and eat lunch with was Tom Jones. As you can see above, he flew on 4 Shuttle Missions in his 11 year career, STS 59, 68, 80, and 98. In the morning, Judy and I attended a lecture he gave on what is happening with NASA these days, that I really enjoyed, and you got to ask questions directly to him.
He is a very articulate speaker, and knows the program inside and out! I woud have liked to invite him over to the RV for some refreshments afterwards! He explained all the details of day to day life for the men and women on the Missions.
After the lecture, we moved to another building, with a select group enjoying lunch with him, and his Wife. I liked the Shuttle Model on the Buffet Table. We enjoyed a terrific lunch with all kinds of food we enjoyed.
A total of about 40 people enjoying lunch above... in a great enviorment.
There is nothing better as far as I am concerned, than listening to real life adventures, by someone who has been there and did it! Too bad lunch had to finish...
After lunch we carried on with a tour of the assembly area for the Appolo Missions. Above is NASA's main assembly building that we could not get into, which is a very familiar photo to everyone. The Shuttles were assembled here, before being moved out to Launch Pad 39 A for blast off.
Above is one of two crawlers they use, that moves the whole assembled Shuttle at 1 MPH for the 3 1/2 mile trip.
Above is Launch Pad 39A, which over the next two years will be disassembled to make way for the future, as the Shuttle Program is now fully finished. I took this picture above today from our tour bus, and now check out the picture below of Atlantis taking off on one of it's missions! I would have loved to been here for the lift off. Now, I must mention, back in the 1980's, can't remember what year, but I did get to watch a Shuttle take off while on a Family Vacation to Daytona Beach. Did not get quite this close, but Shawn and I did get fairly close.
Above is the "Kitty Hawk" Appolo Capusual that was used on one of the moon missions, and is now on display at the centre.
Now, if you have not heard, last year they opened a new Exhibit with the now Retired, Space Shuttle Atlantis. It is now the pride of the Centre!
$32,000,000.00 was spent on building the new building to display the Shuttle! What a spot!
Above are a moke up of the fuel tanks for the shuttle, and the main entrance is right between the two solid rocket boasters!
You get to view a couple movies before entering the exhibit, and then you get to walk through the big screen and you are staring at the actual Atlantis Shuttle! What an entrance.
This Shuttle is very big, and is amazing to view... I did not want to leave this area...
Even had a space walk going on...
I shot a short video to give you an idea as to how big it is!
Meet the business end of the Atlantis above... I wanted to jump in the cockpit and fire this puppy up, but thought I might get stopped by Security... rats....
They also have a new experience, The Shuttle Launch Experience, which is a terrific ride that Judy and I enjoyed. It simulates a Shuttle Launch, and it is very real indeed!
Well, I could just go on, and on and on... however I will spare you the pain! Needless to say, I really enjoyed visiting this Centre, and would come back again in a flash!
The bus stopped at the Cracker Barrel in Orlando on the way home, so nobody went home hungry!