Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
3/31/18 9:55 p.m.

We live just a couple of hours north, and find it worth it to have yearly passes. More specifically, one yearly pass, which comes with free parking, and the other three of us get unlimited admission for the year, but not free parking. 

It's really worth seeing. My family isn't really interested in the theme parks here in central FL, but love KSC.

I'll focus on one aspect of our visit this week. At the Mission Control center, where they display a Saturn 5 rocket, we talked to a retired flight engineer that had been in launch control for the entire shuttle program. He explained that the Saturn 5 that is on display was sent to KSC to be used. He also told us how each of the three stages were manufactured by different companies, and shipped to Louisiana where the were tested with a "full duration practice burn", before being shipped to Florida.  

I'd seen this Saturn 5 previously, but knowing that it had been lit, and had the engines burn long enough to reach orbit really changed my perception of this incredible machine. For context, the largest and most powerful rocket right now is the Falcon Heavy. The Falcon heavy is basically three Falcon 9 rockets attached together, yet the Falcon heavy is smaller and less powerful than a Saturn 5. 

They also have the lunar landing module that was built for the Apollo 15 mission.  When Apollo 15 was designated for the first use of the lunar rover, they had to redesign the landing module to fit the rover, so it wasn't used. It's hanging in the same building as the Saturn 5, and once again, it's NOT A MOCKUP! It's the real thing!

There's much more to see there, we've been multiple times and still haven't seen it all. Don't miss it if you have the opportunity to get there. 

Here's a picture of the bottom of the first stage, and no, it's not distorted by the photo. This thing is enormous! The largest and most powerful machine ever built!

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
3/31/18 10:55 p.m.

When I realized how close cocoa was to my work, (ksc as well) I discussed those very passes with swmbo. I'm up to my nuts in theme parks as is (I can set my watch by listening for the fireworks at Hollywood studios) but ksc is super cool,  and way more behind the scenes-y than the mouse and his friends, which is what I look for anyhow. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
3/31/18 11:14 p.m.

To me, the biggest difference is that the theme parks are based on fantasy. Given a choice between a manufactured theme park "experience", compared to canoeing on the Wekiva river, seeing the manatees at Blue Springs Park, Castillo de San Marcos (St. Augustine) or visiting KSC, I'll go for the real thing. 

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
4/1/18 6:33 a.m.
Floating Doc said:

To me, the biggest difference is that the theme parks are based on fantasy. Given a choice between a manufactured theme park "experience", compared to canoeing on the Wekiva river, seeing the manatees at Blue Springs Park, Castillo de San Marcos (St. Augustine) or visiting KSC, I'll go for the real thing. 

Amen.

 

And I count coasters in the "Real thing" category. 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
4/1/18 7:57 a.m.

The Space Center is my favorite place to visit in Florida. It also feels like the safest place on earth. When they open those doors and you walk in to see the Saturn V rocket for the first time, it is mind bending. 

Jay_W
Jay_W Dork
4/12/18 10:26 p.m.

This is about as close to a religious shrine as I am likely to experience.

mikedd969
mikedd969 New Reader
4/13/18 11:09 p.m.

I haven't been there since I was just a kid, back in the 70's.  I was there when one of the skylab missions was on the launchpad at complex 39, a Saturn 1B on the "milkstool" launching platform.  We went to the MSFC in Houston back in 2008, that was neat.  I've also passed by the Space Center in Huntsville AL several times, but haven't had the time to stop.  

I'm currently considering taking a day trip over to the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, it's just a couple of hours from home.

 

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
4/14/18 7:51 a.m.

When you’re in the atlantis display, after you open your eyes at the end of the presentation (so I don’t get motion sickness) when they lift the curtain and you see the space shuttle up close for the first time, it’s breathtaking 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
4/18/18 8:37 a.m.
Patrick said:

When you’re in the atlantis display, after you open your eyes at the end of the presentation (so I don’t get motion sickness) when they lift the curtain and you see the space shuttle up close for the first time, it’s breathtaking 

Brought tears to my eyes the first time. And, quite unexpectedly, the second time too. 

What is really cool after watching the video of the introduction of the concept using the paper model, is that the model itself is in a glass case on the lower level near the exit doors. 

It looks like it was in someone's closet for a while, which is part of the reason I like it. 

Jay_W
Jay_W Dork
5/9/18 2:27 p.m.

Last time we were there it was my wife's birthday. We were supposed to go to the harry potter thing that day but the skies opened up in a most biblical fashion. So we adjusted the itinerary and went to the space center instead. Incidentally, in addition to liking harry potter she is also a huge star trek fan. Unbeknownst to us, KSC was hosting a star trek exhibit and that was the last day it was gonna be there. Serendipity worked really well that time. 

grover
grover Reader
5/14/18 9:47 a.m.

In reply to Floating Doc :

same.  Seeing the space shuttle for the first time was an unbelievable experience.  I'll never forget it.  I could have stood in that room all day. 

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
5/14/18 10:14 a.m.

In reply to Floating Doc :

I went to Kennedy Space Center when I was a kid a very long time ago. The Saturn V was amazing and seemed even bigger since I was little. It was outside then, and low enough to touch it or almost so. I got my shortest friend to stand behind the engines and took a photo, that I still have somewhere. I need to make it back - my older daughter (3) and I built the Saturn V lego model recently and she had a ton of fun with it. It would be amazing to take her to see it in person. But that's a long haul from Ohio!!

TJL
TJL New Reader
5/14/18 11:57 a.m.

I’ll be trying to get my son more into the space center and seaworld over the mouse house and its spinoffs. 

Growing up in central florida we always watched the shuttle on tv, once it got going we would run outside and watch it from the yard or in school.  Still sucks they killed the shuttle program. After one of the last flights of it i was flying back from houston with many nasa voiced their frustrations about the shuttle program. Mainly that they had it very much refined and perfected and now were back to the drawing board on a new machine. Im glad the “space coast” has jobs again. It was getting bad there after everyone was out of a high paying job and nothing close thats comparable. 

pheo
pheo New Reader
5/16/18 7:08 p.m.

 

I am a computer nerd, so this may need a yawn warning...

LOL has multiple meanings.

The computer system for Apollo needed to be robust. The memory modules, all 32 kb of them, yes 32 kilobytes, were made in a 1 kiloword blocks of woven wire. Computers run on 0 and 1's to get the memory to read out a current was run through one wire which then caused, depending on how the other wires were wrapped, the output to produce a 0 or a 1. A giant magnetic rats nest of wires, and we stress over an ecm....

These memory blocks were woven by seamstresses, in a clothing factory if I remember correctly,  hence the "Little Old Lady" or LOL memory. Probably not politically correct today, but even seamstresses helped get us to the moon!

I would like to see the KSC someday.

 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
5/16/18 7:36 p.m.

KSC is one of the things that makes Florida unique. Theme parks can be built anywhere. 

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
5/28/18 4:06 p.m.
dculberson said:

In reply to Floating Doc :

I went to Kennedy Space Center when I was a kid a very long time ago. The Saturn V was amazing and seemed even bigger since I was little. It was outside then, and low enough to touch it or almost so. I got my shortest friend to stand behind the engines and took a photo, that I still have somewhere. I need to make it back - my older daughter (3) and I built the Saturn V lego model recently and she had a ton of fun with it. It would be amazing to take her to see it in person. But that's a long haul from Ohio!!

That’s why they created the Challenge.  So we have a valid reason to trek to Florida from Ohio 

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
6/1/18 1:14 p.m.

Yes, extremely cool place to visit.

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