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A brief taster of Cape Canaveral
We first visited the Kennedy Space Center back in 1981, so I guess it was about time we prised ourselves away from Walt Disney World and the other Orlando attractions for a trip east towards to Atlantic coast.
The Kennedy Space Center occupies a strip of land on Merritt Island and is reached by way of a causeway over the Indian River. From the Orlando metropolitan area the easiest route is probably east along the SR528 and then north along the Challenger Memorial Highway.
As we got closer those distant memories came flooding back, and upon reaching the Visitor Complex it was quite amazing to see quite a lot of the exhibits from twenty five years earlier were still in tact, albeit in a more modern setting.
There is a lot to see and do at KSC and you really do need to set aside a full day, especially if you intend to take the spectacular bus tour around the complex which takes in the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Saturn V rocket facility before finally culminating in a visit to the launch pads themselves.
However for the purposes of this article we are going to confine ourselves to what we believe are the favourite two exhibits around the Visitor Complex.
We remembered the Rocket Garden as one of our favourite places but back in 1981 it was just a case of the rockets being displayed in a pleasant garden setting. Now the redevelopment of the area is quite stunning with the early Redstone, Titan and Atlas rockets all subjected to spectacular lighting techniques which gives the effect of restoring them to their former glory, it really is very impressive. Also within this area, although more for the youngsters, are replica versions of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules, which give a good insight into the cramped conditions endured by the early astronauts.
The last time we were here, because of time constraints, we missed the IMAX theatre shows and have regretted it ever since as, time after time, friends and acquaintances have told us how good it was…. and they were right!
The screen stretches upward to five storeys and with 3D special effects the whole experience is awesome. We chose Space Station 3D, which chronicles the journey of American astronauts and their Russian counterparts who rendezvous at the Space Station which is orbiting over 200 miles above the Earth’s surface. It is a story of challenge and success and was truly inspiring.
As mentioned previously, there is so much more to see at KSC, but hopefully this brief taster will give you impetus to visit…. you won’t be disappointed.
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