OMG!!!!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE I FORGOT!!!!! Yesterday was one LONG ASS day. We got picked up at a prompt 7:45. We were going to head to Kennedy. Nope. Another stop. Yay!! Kennedy! Nope. Another stop. This continued on for the next hour. Finally, we were told that we were going to the airboat, next stop. Cool. I would recommend it. I'm undecided if I'd do it again though. We climbed into the flat bottom boat and headed off. Within the first minute, we spotted the largest gator we saw. 10 feet!! We saw about 10 gators yesterday. They ranged from a baby 4 foot gator to the massive 10 foot gator. I didn't realize how shallow that water was, until I saw a herd of cows walking though it. Not the smartest move it you ask me. The tour lasted about 40 minutes.
Next stop...Kennedy Space Center!!!!! I was really worried that we were going to be there too long. HA!!! We were there for 5-6 hours and didn't get to see everything. Wait...Hall of Fame first. I had no desire to go there, but I am SO glad I did. The artifacts on display were interesting. They had space suits from different eras, a mock-up of a Gemini (NOT the easiest things to get in or out of by the way) and dozens more. We were left there for 1 hour. Perfect amount of time.
Off to KSC. We rush in and over to the KSC tours within the complex. It's a guided "at our own pace" bus tour. 4 stops. Stop 1...observation deck. We weren't able to go up to the place where they take off from, but we were within a few miles (close in NASA terms). We saw flight deck a and b. I didn't realize there were two of them. We also saw the caterpillars (the big huge machine they use to move them over there. This machine moves a whopping 1 mph. There were two of them.) Along the same lines, we saw the "road" the caterpillars use.
Stop 2...Saturn/Gemini Space Center. Having no idea what this stop was, we contemplated skipping it. Thank God we didn't. We watched a few short movies about Gemini and the Apollo missions. We stepped into the actual room that was used to launch the famous Apollo missions 11 &13. Of course, they talked about Apollo 1 and 8 as well. The movies got over and the doors opened into what I can only describe as holy shit! THE actual Saturn 5 rocket was in the next room. This thing is AMAZING!!!! It's vast, huge, gargantuan, beastly. We took pictures. I sent some to my mom via my phone. "They look like 5 tin cans". That's about the only accurate desription out there. I can't eve begin to describe the enormous machine. The detail is unbelievable. I was able to touch a moon rock, go shopping again, eat nasty space food.
Stop 3...??? I don't know what it's called, but we were able to scientists working on the STS133 materials. (I learned that STS stands for Space Transit System and the numbers are the numbers of missions. IE...the last mission to fly was STS 132.)
Stop 4....back to KSC vistor's complex. Once we got back we knew we wanted to visit the shuttle, do the shuttle experience, and the 3D Hubble IMAX movie. We were not able to do the shuttle experience, but we did the other two things.
It took me 3 times visiting Orlando to get to the KSC. But I finally did it. It was interesting to learn that they have created thousands of everyday devices in our lives, ranging from the microwave to pacemaker. Not to mention the small amount of time, energy, and researches devoted to space research. NASA is in no way shape or form a waste of time or money. I could have spent all day there, easily, but I'm a nerd like that. Last year, over 40 million people visited Magic Kingdom. 2.5 millions visited KSC. Where are the priorities??