Tuesday, April 16, 2013

tourist stop

The Kennedy Space Center was worth the one day delay, especially since we had some time to spare. We tied up at the Titusville Municipal Marina and took the Chamber sponsored van to the front gate of KSC. The van is free, but they will accept donations to help pay for fuel.

We took the bus tour which drove around the ‘big building’(one stripe on the flag takes 6000 gallons of paint), didn’t stop, through the wildlife preserve and dropped us off at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. We saw the Saturn V, the largest rocket ever made, one of the moon vehicles, a movie (plus a 3-D stage) about the Apollo missions. I didn’t remember (or know) that Neil Armstrong decided he didn’t like the spot they were headed towards to land, so he took over the controls and found a spot he liked better. That confused mission control and he almost ran out of fuel before touching down. I think he had 30 seconds of fuel left. After lunch at the Moon Rock CafĂ© we were bused back to the Visitor Complex. It is interesting that all of the technology and rocket launches are in the middle of a wild life refuge, but it is said that the only wildlife effective negatively is the small fish which can’t take the launches. We saw alligators, a turtle, lots of birds including an endangered Rosetta Spoonbill.

The shuttle launch simulation was amazing. We were strapped in and then, I swear, we were tilted 90 degrees and lying on our backs. I started laughing and wondered if I was going to need my ginger gum for motion sickness, it was that real. The next big laugh was when the rockets fired. The noise and the turbulence was incredible. (apparently Barbara laughs hysterically when nervous or frightened?)As Reggie said, “Can you imagine trying to do whatever work they needed to do under those conditions?” I bet one requirement for astronauts is no dentures.

IMAX Theater was the next stop to learn about the Hubble telescope in 3-D. It has been repaired a few times and may not be around in years to come. The shuttle program enabled its extended life.  Some of its discoveries are worth studying just to be amazed and astounded.  They boggle the mind.

The second 3-D movie was about the Space Station. I knew there was an international space station, but that is about all I knew. I am so glad to know more about it. It is one of the things that gives me hope for the future. How wonderful for so many nations working so closely for a common good.

for Allison and Reid

The van picked us up at 4:30 and dropped us at the marina, where we noticed the boat of one of our new cruising friends. We grabbed some wine and headed over to see if they were around. We found them at the BBQ area with some of their friends. We had a great time sharing stories, cocktails and dinner together.

Florida mass transit?

This morning finds us anchored along the ICW just outside Daytona, FL. In the fog!

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