This morning I woke up and had the worst headache in the world. I chugged a whole bunch of water and took some advil and am finally feeling a bit better. I did end up getting up at 6 to go work out, but that plan was foiled.
So, in the hopes of just entertaining a few people and keeping the morning light, I wanted to share a fun little trip that is something that you should consider if you plan on visiting the area. OR even if you are from the area and are just looking for something to do on the weekend. NASA.
NASA has been all over the news lately and ever since I moved down here I have wanted to check out the space center. I finally got the chance to this weekend and it was incredible.
The Rocket Garden is the first thing that you see when you walk into the visitors center and it shows replicas of rockets that were sent out for missions. In front of each of them it tells you what they were used for and what mission. The sheer size of them is incredible.
We walked around building that went over the different capsules, how it all works and the space suits through the ages. There were two things that REALLY surprised me. The early space suits and the size of the capsules they were sitting in for days.
Seriously?? It looks like someone took a sweat suit, wrapped some duct tape around and called it a space suit. There is no way I would have gone out into space for the first time wearing that. They didn’t even know what was going to happen to the human body in space yet. There was even talk about your eye balls coming out of your head! SAY WHAT?! There better be some bubble wrap or something else to that thing!
The first space suit that they went outside of the craft in looked a bit like a Janitors uniform:
Let’s get serious….would you feel safe floating outside a space craft in that suit?? I wouldn’t.
So the second most surprising thing…the size of the capsules. This is just a look at the inside of the Gemini Capsule. Two people were actually shot into space inside of this and circled the earth in it.
Picture two guys sitting inside of that, not moving, just floating in space for days. They couldn’t even stretch their legs. Absurd.
So after walking around that for a while, we headed on a bus tour to check out the launching pads and everything else. One of the doors to the building where they work on the shuttles was open and we snuck a little peak of the Atlantis. Really cool.
You can see the tail end of it here. They are building a new building to house the Atlantis in at the Visitors Center now. In about a week they are moving the shuttle to the half built, building and finishing it around the shuttle. Just for scale, look at the porta-potties on the side of the door. Crazy. Those doors are so heavy that they take 45 minutes to open or close.
The last thing I wanted to show you, so I don’t ruin everything! Was the replica of a rocket. The size of the rocket is amazing in itself, but then to put two people at the top of it, you have to be slightly nuts to climb in there.
This is the back part of it. These are the initial thrusters that go off while it is on the ground.
That breaks off after lift off. Then, where there is another break in the shutter, in the middle of the picture is where the next tank starts. This, is also fuel.
This is just a look back at the two fuel tanks, just for size. This second fuel tank also falls off after it exits the atmosphere.
Then you have another section that houses the Lunar Module. The top section breaks off in space, bangs a U-Turn and pick up the lunar module. This is a picture of the top section:
Now don’t be fooled, that whole thing is NOT what the astronauts are in. They are in the tiny silver cap at the top. Strapped in. The larger section is fuel and all of the machinery to keep this guy going. It is also the fuel that helps them land back on earth. That breaks away upon entry and they land in the top silver capsule.
This is THE Apollo 14 capsule. Picture two guys crammed into that?! It’s TINY!
There are a bunch of other tours, movies and such that you can go on as well. These were photos from just two locations, and not nearly everything. You can even TOUCH a moon rock. Did that. Yup. The whole thing was mind boggling.
I do have to mention. For lunch we went to the cafe and I was crazy surprised at their food quality. I had a Veggie Frittata and Brent had a Buffalo Chicken Flatbread. You had to see the salads that were coming out.
I DEFINITELY recommend going. It is located on Merritt Island, which is just a 45 minute drive from Orlando. It is worth it. I know I wouldn’t have the courage to get into one of those capsules at the top of a Rocket that large and hope I make it home. MADNESS.
Have you ever been to the Kennedy Space Center?? Would you ever get into a capsule attached to a ROCKET?!
Probably not for me. I would give a shuttle a try I think. I think.