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Published: April 28th 2017
22nd April Port Canaveral
One of the highlights of our trip this time was to be a the visit to the Kennedy Space Centre.
Port Canaveral is located along North America's 'Space Coast' and is surrounded by beaches where people flock to see space launches.
Our main aim today was to get as much from this visit as possible, so we had booked for a visit to Kennedy Space Centre with an extra 'Up close and Personal' tagged on.
Kennedy Space Centre is huge, occupying some 144,000 acres of land.
It is also a wildlife reserve so there were some sightings of alligators and birdlife as we drove the 20 miles to the Centre.
Where to start, it was good to have a guide to steer us through, from the Rocket Garden we passed into where the last Space Shuttle Atlantis is located.
There are lots of interactive things to do including a Space Shuttle launch and landing simulator.
We were going to have a couple of hours free time in the afternoon so you could
revisit these areas later.
Then it was part of our extra tour, we were taken out the Launch pad areas, where all moon landing missions were initiated.
You don't realise how large everything is until you are up close.
There haven't been any manned space craft from here since the retirement of the Shuttle program and the guide was excited that the new Orion rocket will begin a new era of manned space flight for USA.
There are number of commercial companies working on space flights here.
The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) was huge, and then the vehicle to move the assembled rocket that move at less than one mile per hour and used a gallon of fuel every 20 yards puts the scale of these rockets into perspective.
We then moved to the Apollo/Saturn V complex.
Here there is a complete Saturn V rocket which launched all the moon missions.
There are all the vehicles used on the moon missions, moon buggies etc and a moving tribute to the Astronauts than died in Apollo 1 in a horrific fire
The space suit on display was from Cernan, the last man who set foot on the moon and who recently died.
Apollo XVII was the last Apollo mission.
Fascinating stuff, with moon rocks on display, paraphernalia from all the Apollo missions including the infamous Apollo VIII, that never made it to the moon but kept us on the edge of our seats all those years ago as they brought back their crippled spacecraft.
Not many people will forget those chilling words when Jim Lovell aboard Apollo XIII said "Houston, we have a problem".
Our First blip of the day was after lunch when we had to wait 40 minutes for the bus to take us back to the Space Centre.
Unfortunately this ate into our free time, there were a couple of films to see at the IMAX cinema, a Journey to Mars exhibit and the Astronauts Memorial.
And of course shopping!!!
I was really impressed with our guide, who I think lived and breathed the Space Centre and our different bus drivers were the same coming out
with some great anecdotes.
The Centre operates without US tax dollars and is maintained and operated for NASA by a third party and is entirely visitor funded.
Not enough time, so,looking to finishing off the experience when we come back next year!!!
Beautiful Sailaway out into the Atlantic and on towards Charleston
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