Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Dream Come true...Kennedy Space Center!!

The building where the Shuttle's are prepared to launch (been here 40 years so a lot of different Space craft have been here

Only took me since 1960's to get here (Dusty a little shorter...LOL)

The ASTRONAUT we met

Us and Wendy Lawrence
The Endeavour (you can only see the rockets and fuel tanks) ready on Launch pad
Well I got to go to one of my childhood dream places.  If you are like me and born in the late 40's or 50's you watched the Space Race with the Russian's on TV (black & white) or listened on the radio.  My teachers brought the TV into the classrooms to watch Alan Shepard do his 19 mins in Space and John Glenn circle the earth.  Oh how I wanted to be an Astronaut....but being in the early 60's people laughed at that.  I even did a play for our 6th grade class about Space and Astronaut's and of course I wrote the main Astronaut to be me...but would you believe that they would not even let me play one...I was so angry.  Man how times have changed...thank goodness.  We spent the last two day's at Kennedy Space Center and we still didn't see everything.  To add to all this excitement the Space Shuttle "Endeavour" is scheduled to lift off this Friday the 29th at 3:47:47 (to be exact) and we are camped right across from it like 12 miles from the launch pad...BUT...all these things must be in place for that to happen..1) The Russians are on their way to International Space Station, so they have to dock on time tomorrow morning 2) there can be no rain in Spain (true fact) because this is the alternate place for the shuttle to land if an emergency arises 3) there can be no lightning here at the center tonight because of them fueling the large tanks( and they are calling for storms) 4) finally the weather here in FL has to be good.  Then there is only a 5 min. window that it can lift off.  So IF all those things go well we will watch the lift-off.  We will be getting up at 5 am to go down to the beach here and claim our spots.  They are letting the public in at 7 am for any parking spots that might be available ( and there aren't many) and there are 177 sites here and people are pulling in left and right!!  So please keep your fingers crossed!!
See how close we got

What the shuttle looks like up close, was cool to go inside

OK the answer to how does an astronaut go the gravity so they use a lot of "suction"

Inside the gray cage to the right is where the Endeavour is (this keeps it safe til launch)

Think of their fuel bill!! 
Back to our visit at the Space Center, we got to see the launch pad and the shuttle is there but it is enclosed so you can't see it, see other space crafts from the pass and see the new Orion which will be how we send people up in the future.  It was really emotionally for me to see the Apollo building as these are really the days I Shepard (note: I dated his nephew in high school...he was a naval midshipmen) Glenn, losing Grissom in the Apollo 1 explosion, Armstrong landing on the moon etc...tears were in eyes.  WE had lunch with an astronaut Wendy Lawrence....fantastic..listened to her speak twice, got our picture with her and her autograph.  She was on the 1st shuttle after the Columbia blew up 79 seconds into lift off...that had to be scary.  But how great to get to meet a "WOMAN' Astronaut!!!
The IMAX shows were wonderful, if you ever get a chance to see a show about the Hubble Telescope, do....the photos are really OUT of this World!!  I can not even to begin to tell you everything we seen.  And you would be bored anyway.  But we did take a behind the scene tour and got to go over to Cape Canaveral. Coming to Kennedy Space Center is a place to see what the American Spirit was like in the 50's thru the 80's.  After the 80's it seems we kind of lost our love of the Space program...but we shouldn't.  We have so many things that we use in our daily lives that came out of NASA programs, things like your cell phones, GPS, personal computer's, medicine the list goes on and on....even the heart pump that kept Dusty alive until we could get him to Stanford was created by NASA.  So we are very grateful for NASA.
Exact control panels

Just a small piece of Apollo Saturn V

End of engines

Dusty's view of the Saturn V engines from underneath

Until you are there it is really hard to understand the size of these things Apollo Saturn V

Rockets from the past

Will someone answer the question are we or are we not related to Robert Goddard?? My mother was a Goddard

A fire breaks out across from the NASA building,, they say it just burst into flames???

This is the crawler that carries the shuttle to launch is the width of an 8 lane highway and takes 5-8 hours to go 3 miles to launch pad

Dusty and Endeavour

Wendy signs our picture for us

"Orion" the new capsule astronauts will use in future, doesn't this look familiar??

A magnolia flower..I had been waiting to see one

NASA building, you can see launch pad in background

On our way back to campground from NASA

Putting out fire near launch area

All the countries involved with the International Space Station
Today we were to go on a fishing trip but the waters were too rough so we have rescheduled for Sunday.  Of course for all our friends in the areas being hit by tornadoes, floods and storms, our occasional storms are nothing and we are thinking of you and praying you are safe.

No comments: