After two glorious days visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter we decided to go to NASA on our last day. We drove about an hour to the Kennedy Space Center and took the tour. This was a great experience. I have to say I get very patriotic while I was there. I wish we still fully funded the space program, I would certainly rather my tax dollars go there than to fight wars.
We took the bus tour and saw the craft assembly building It is the worlds tallest building by volume and has 8 acres of floor space. It was not open to tourists that day as it was being used by Space X. The tour bus drive had tons of information, unfortunately delivered in a monotone, but still interesting to me.
Do you see me peeking out of the rocket?
Here is some of the info that caught my attention; there have been 135 shuttle missions, 12 men have landed on the moon and the shuttle platform weighs 9 million pounds. Because this area is the lightening capital of the nation they have a giant lightening rod and lightening towers. When there is a launch the noise is too loud and to muffle it they release 4 million gallons of water in 30 seconds. They use kevlar to protect console operators from flying debris during a launch, debris can travel as far as 3 1/2 miles! The touch down speed of the shuttle is 250 miles per hour and the runway is as wide as a football field is long. Wow, lots of big numbers!
We were surprised to learn that though NASA owns 250 miles of land, most is a wild life refuge. There are manatees, eagles, alligators, dear and other animals. The fences are topped with a curved part so the alligators do not climb over, apparently if the fence is straight up and down they are able to climb it. We also saw a hug eagle nest that is over 50 years old.
The bus ride covered miles and miles and there were two brief informational movies shown when the driver was not talking.
When the bus ride was over we explored the open buildings and the rocket garden. I got to touch a moon rock, I found that exciting.
One of the displays explains all about how the astronauts go to the bathroom in space, not my idea of fun! We ate lunch in the Rocket Garden Cafe, the food was ok, and though the birds were very aggressive, none of them dive bombed us.
There were lots of gift shops of course, I bought book marks and a official guide book. They also sold Big Bang Theory items which I thought was pretty funny. Many people bought stuffed shuttle toys for the kids.
Our ticket was also good for the Astronauts Hall of Fame, a few miles up the road, but we were ready to head back to the hotel. It was fun and educational. If I am in Orlando again, I think I will go back.