Calling on Canaveral
Trip Start Feb 15, 2010
77Trip End Feb 14, 2011
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Where I stayed
Unless I stay somewhere OTHER than my car...I'm going to stop wasting time on this part.
I only had a couple of intended destinations today: Kennedy Space Center and Daytona Beach. Seeing as how it was raining again today with no change in the forecast, I figured I could cross the beach off the list. Five days in Florida and the only times there were sun were the days I was away from the coasts.
I had a good visit to the space center, though, and saw everything I could in the time I had. Since I still had a little ways to drive after getting up this morning, I didn't arrive until around 1pm and they closed at 6. Five hours seems like a long time, but a lot of it is spent in lines or waiting for scheduled events. I managed to fit in a visit to their launch simulator ride, a walk through a display of an Explorer shuttle, and a bus tour
The bus tours visited three areas around the facility. They first stopped at a building near NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building. This first building covered how the shuttles and engines are configured and assembled before and between each mission. The next stop was a much larger building that housed both the entire launch control deck from the Apollo missions and a Saturn V Rocket that was suspended and separated into it's different stages. Looking up at the size of that rocket certainly puts things into perspective when thinking about the comparatively tiny men it is built to carry. The last stop is at the International Space Station Center where a short video teaches a little about the station before allowing visitors into a gallery set up with examples of different modules that are on board the station. The modules are set up along a path around the room so they can be walked through. After taking a look at them, I climbed a couple flights of stairs and crossed a walking bridge to a viewing deck in another building with windows that look down on a large working area. This is the building where NASA Technicians test and prepare all of the new equipment and modules that are going up to the ISS.
It seems that a lot of chapters are coming to their end for NASA. They didn't seem to present very much information on their future plans for Luna or Mars, but I'm sure whatever they're cooking up for the future will be making headlines in due time.
Once I left Cape Canaveral, I drove (mostly through rain) for a little over three hours to the Flying J in Brunswick, GA. Tomorrow I plan on continuing the drive up to Savannah, Georgia to see what I can find there.