A while back I was on an business trip to Orlando, Florida and after the work week was over, I stayed a few extra days.
This is an overview of those days.
The vacation-part of the trip started very strong; a visit to Kennedy Space Center!
They had old rockets at display:
And the (former) space shuttle Atlantis!
At the Atlantis we met up with Astronaut Scott Parazynski who will be our tour guide for most of the day!
He has been up five times to space - and has even been on the Atlantis so he really knew what he was talking about - and he loved sharing his knowledge and stories about being an astronaut.
And he was so cool about it!
This was a real highlight of the day. Awesomeness!!
At the Atlantis building they also had a "Shuttle Launch Experience"-ride.
You sat down in a "space shuttle", it tipped 90 degrees and it simulated a launch. Shaking and rumbling and it almost felt like you were weight-less when we reached high orbit.
After this, it was time to get to the launch pads. Or close to them at least.
We took a bus (with Astonaut Scott) and drove around the launch area. So many launch pads here! Both old and still in use.
We passed the Vehicle Assembly Building, where the doors were open (SpaceX is launcing a rocket tomorrow so I assume that was why).
We also went by the launchpad where SpaceX will launch their Dragon space craft next year:
We finished our tour with Astronaut Scott at the Apollo/Saturn V Center where we visited the Firing Room that launched the Apollo missions - and we got to see a Saturn V rocket.
Exhausing day, but so much fun!