October 21, 2014

I need more space.

The next day, after Disney part Deux, we drove an hour to the Atlantic side of Florida to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center.  Ken and I had been there years ago (14!) and it has really changed since then.
Look at all those rockets.  Hey, where are the Schusters?  

Ken replicating what it would be like to be in a capsule.

Little did you know, but Nicholas is the forgotten member of the Original 7.  
There were supposed to be 8, but he was too short and was left out of the photo.
He ages well.  If anyone in our family goes to space--it will be this boy.  He's smart as a whip, a thrill seeker, and can run like lightning in those yellow crocs.  Future astronaut right there.
Speaking of future astronauts....
Like most museums, there was a lot of stuff to read that we didn't get to fully absorb.  I didn't believe the website when it said to plan an 8 hour day at least--it really is true.  If you are space geeky like us and want to read all the signs (I do!  Those little people...they don't!)
Everyone likes lunch.
Included with your tour, you get a bus ride to the Atlantis exhibit, on the way see all the launch pads, etc etc.  It's funny--the part that Elizabeth remembered most was the bus ride and the factoid on Bald Eagles (that they kick their young out of the nest and don't let them back in)!  We did see a Bald Eagle nest on the ride and learned a lot about the upcoming endeavors for the space program.  Exciting stuff!  Ken's still a bit riled up about NASA selling out to SpaceX.  Its all about the dollah.

The Vehicle Assembly Building.  Or VAB....one of the stars in the flag is six feet across, the stripes are nine feet across.  Just to give you an idea of scale.  It is the largest single-story building in the world and is used to assemble shuttles/rockets before being moved to the launch pad.  No worries--it is still in use for the upcoming projects.
Again, scale.

This is the Saturn V which is just enormous.  There was a movie and lots of information on the early years of the space program.
Elizabeth touching a piece of the moon.  For real!
I didn't do the arrow thing this time.  Aren't you happy?
There we are!
The highlight of our trip was Atlantis.  Seriously, seeing it brought tears to my eyes.  It is really amazing.  Ken and the older set watched the movie, which was also pretty amazing.  The two little ones were overdone on all things space so we skipped the movie and went straight to seeing the shuttle.  Which was nice because we basically had 20 minutes to walk around unfettered with few other people around and I think that was good for us.

So, why would seeing this bring tears to my eyes?  I think it was the end of an era sort of mistiness.  I'm getting old, darn it.  The shuttle has been around my entire life!  It is a little sad to think it won't fly again.

Checking out the main engine.
Trying the shuttle cockpit on for size.
Amazing!  Proof that perseverance pays off.
One of the things we kept hearing about were "spinoffs"--things that have come from research by NASA.  I saw this sign and thought this was an interesting one--there are tons of spinoffs from vaccines to cell phones.  You can find more spinoffs here.
Peter really wanted his picture in front of the shuttle.

The littles in front of the space station!  If you get a chance, I highly recommend visiting Kennedy Space Center!

Incidentally, the inspiration for my title was on a tshirt at KSC.  I thought about buying it because it made me laugh--I do need more space! ha!--but it was so thin, I didn't think it was worth it.  So, my "souvenir" will just be immortalized here on the blog.  ;)

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