Kennedy Space Center 2

One of my favorite scifi films is easily Contact. It resonated with me so much that it was one of the few movies I kept in my small DVD collection. Unfortunately, I had to give it away when I moved to Europe, though I do recall one of the movie’s best lines…
“…if it is only us, seems like an awful waste of space”.

One of the climactic scenes in the movie showed the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building next to the control center. While it didn’t seem much as we drove closer to it, we’re told it’s one of the biggest buildings in the world. It’s big enough to fit a Saturn rocket so that certainly made sense. The American flag on the side of the building is 16 storeys high and each of the stripes is as wide as a road lane. I would have loved to see what was inside but apparently that’s an entirely different tour altogether.

The bus dropped us off at the Apollo/Saturn V building where we saw the very same control console used during the Apollo 11 moon landing. How amazing is that! It’s now part of a dramatic light and sound show that recreates what happened back then.
Onto an adjacent room was an authentic, honest to goodness Saturn V rocket. It was gigantic! Really impressive to look at.

As we stopped by the cafe to take a breather, right in front of us was this elderly man taking questions. I don’t think Mr Whitson is quite ready to retire yet.
I half-expected Tang to be served in the cafe but there was none – just a lot of overly-spicy (and over-priced) chicken filet and sandwiches.

With the end of the space shuttle program and the transfer of low-earth orbit travel to companies like Virgin Galactic, we were told the space center will only focus on deep space travel – unmanned presumably. This could mean less launch activity, though incidentally there was one for a communications satellite yesterday. It would have been fantastic timing to have seen that.

Next, having the right stuff…

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