I grew up in Florida and every time we visit Orlando, it’s to visit the parks: Disney or Universal. This year for the first time ever we took time out to visit Cape Canaveral for a tour of the Kennedy Space Center.
If there is anyone in your family who loves Star Trek, or any kind of science fiction, this will be heaven on earth for them.
Oh, and if they love *actual* science, astronomy, space flight, or trigonometry – you might not be able to get them to leave.
What you will see:
Atlantis – Space Shuttle – absolutely breathtaking in person.
Apollo Saturn V Center – the largest rocket ever flown (the one that took us to the moon).
Space Shuttle Launch Experience – this is a simulator of what it would feel like to be in a space shuttle when it launches. The Hubs did this while I watched from a video screen behind the ride. I loved that it had the option to watch if you didn’t want to be turned upside down and shaken and stirred all space-like.
Angry Birds Space Encounter – we did not do this. It’s supposed to be great for kids.
Apollo Saturn V Command and Control Center – my favorite part of this were all the little lights that light up as they reach different milestones of readiness to launch. The last two are “commit” then the rocket is ready to “launch.” As a life coach, it just thrilled me that scientifically, all rocket systems must “commit” to the take off before launching. I found it such a beautiful analogy for anything we do in life.
Meet an Astronaut – this was my favorite part of the day. Yes the hardware was impressive and a bit mind-blowing, but to actually hear live stories from someone who has been in space was beyond my imagination.
There are two options for this,
- You can sign up for “Lunch with an Astronaut” which has an extra fee but you get more time to listen to stories, see slides and ask questions. You and about 100 other people of course! At the lunch they have it set up where you get to take a picture with him. Afterwards, they print the picture while you are at the park. A couple of hours later you come back to have him sign it. This was a surprise to me and I loved it!
- There is also a theater where there are usually two showings a day of Q&A with the Astronaut.
They have about 20 Astronauts rotate through the program so there is usually one there whenever you visit.
If you don’t have plans to visit Florida anytime soon, but you are intrigued by the Kennedy Space Center, you can take the trip home:
NASA AT HOME:
- Watch Apollo 13 (with Tom Hanks).
- Watch our Astronaut’s favorite space movie, Space Cowboys.
- Check out NASA’s website for all kinds of exciting space news and breathtaking images: http://www.nasa.gov/