Posted by: mckenzie68 | June 23, 2010

Kennedy Space Center (KSC) … June 21 or Day 64

We got up around 0800 and headed to the front desk to purchase our tickets for the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) which seemed expensive at $37 each.  We found out later that $37 was a good deal, and frankly, the KSC is worth every penny even at the $41 admission they ask at the gate.

We jumped on the bikes and drove the short 12-15 mile to KSC through Merritt Island.    It was already 32 degrees, although not as humid as it has been.  As soon as we got into the complex, we figured it would be best to take the tour of the KSC grounds which was a bus tour lasting about 3 hours.  The tour had a total of  3 stops on it, launch pad 39A, Apollo/Saturn V, and International Space Station Center.

For me, the Apollo/Saturn V presentation, was amazing.  We were in the actual command center and the presentation took us through the actual launch of Saturn V complete with the boards lighting up, the windows rattling and the countdown clock counting down.  The only thing missing was the actual humans running the boards.  Truly it was an experience to remember with both Rae and I getting caught up in the emotion.  The Saturn V (Apollo series), which were significant during my very early years, and during the presentation I remembered the exact moment, the exact time and place where I was at when the launch was taking place.  To be in the same command center, looking at the exact consoles, and experiencing the same words, noises etc, was unbelievable.  Once the presentation was complete doors opened and we were ushered  into a huge room which housed the Apollo 8, Saturn V rocket.  I was awestruck.   Even as I write this, the experience took me way back, to clear moments in my childhood.  It was worth it for me, that moment in time…I would never have thought that the launching of a space rocket years ago would have that effect on me.

The last stop was pretty cool too, as we got to walk through some actual Space Center capsules (did you know that astronauts in space sleep ‘standing up’, strapped to their racks?) and got to see where they ‘clean’ the bits that have been into space.

After the bus tour we returned to the visitors center and thought to have a bite to eat.  We got our good and had to wait forever to pay as the clerks had to add things manually since the computers had ceased to operate, for some reason.  There was a little guy in front of me who was clearly really angry with the situation and really let the clerk have it.  I mean, I was pretty mad, but I was more hungry and as I listened to this guy, thought, that he should talk less, pay more and move on so we could eat!    Eventually I got though and met up with Rae who was saving a table.  The meal was OK, but I was hoping for more after waiting for so long!  LOL.

Rae was bugging me to go on the Space Shuttle launch ride, and really, I could not resist the temptation.  To say Rae was excited was an understatement!  She was jumping up and down like a little girl!  That ride was so awesome!  The simulator was the size of the cargo bay in the Shuttle.  I did not expect much and boy was I surprised!  It provides your senses with the feelings of being launched into space.  It was super duper cool!

After, we walked around the grounds, took lots of pictures of the rockets, space suits, and such, I will always remember the Saturn V and the Shuttle Simulator and the experiences that evoked the most emotions, emotions that are worth far more than the entry fee.

One other thing worth mentioning…we had opportunity to walk though a shuttle that is no longer being used.  Of course, in the payload bay the Canadarm is displayed.  We were following this group of teenagers with their family, when the one spied the ‘Canada’ branded on the arm.  The one kid started to go on saying in a loud, sarcastic voice, “What?  Are we in Canada or something?  Last time I checked, we weren’t in Canada.”  Rae, who has not much for patience, turned to the kid and told him in no uncertain terms (with a fairly loud volume I may add) that the arm was built by Canada.  The kid looked at her and just got quiet.  It was actually really funny!  LOL.  Sometimes, Rae had good timing.  LOL.

Eventually our day came to an end (although we would have gone back a second day – we didn’t even see any of the films and the like) and we rode back to the hotel.  Yes it was a good day.  Tomorrow St Augustine, fountain of youth, and the Alligator Farm…..I can only imagine!




  1. Ray and Rae
    It is so wonderful that your adventure is going so wonderfully. The KSC is truly an amazing place. The size and complexities cannot be understood without seeing them up close. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Did ya stop and visit with the Dawg and his family?? He’s in Merrit Island

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