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Florida Guide > Other Florida

Kennedy Space Centre - Some Details

In addition to the theme parks, shopping, golf, restaurants and other attractions in the Orlando and Kissimmee area, there is much more to see outside of the main attractions area.

One attraction that we have visited a couple of times (and will no doubt do so again) is the Kennedy Space Centre, around an hour's drive away from the attractions on Florida's east coast. The space centre is a huge attraction, and is of such significance that the area is known as 'The Space Coast'. Many flights from Europe will cross the Florida coast around the Space Centre, giving visitors their first glimpse.

History of Space Travel
The sixties were the era of space travel, when the USA and USSR competed to establish which superpower could develop their space programmes quickest, with the aim of landing the first man on the moon. There are many exhibitions and film shows covering this era, which brings back memories for anyone who grew up through the sixties. A full scale Saturn rocket is on display, as well as other actual models - including a piece of moon rock. The most memorable Apollo missions are described in detail through film and demonstrations – including Apollo 11 (when Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon) and Apollo 13 (the mission which was struck by disaster, and was later recreated in the film of the same name, featuring Tom Hanks).

These missions were launched from the Kennedy Space Centre, and the launching pads are still in use today for shuttle launches (see below).

Shuttle Missions
More recently, shuttle missions have been launched from the Space Centre. Some of these have been manned, others unmanned, and carry goods (or 'payload') on behalf of many corporations. At the time of writing (February 2006) shuttle launches are being scheduled for the coming year - the exact dates can be checked with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Parts of the Centre will be closed during launches - so the Space Centre is best avoided during these times. Alternatively, you may feel this is a great time to visit - there is something majestic about watching one of these huge rockets slowly lift off, then gather speed and gradually disappear from view Launches are visible from many miles away. We recommend checking before travelling if a launch is scheduled, and what facilities will be open.

Other Facilities
A tour of the Centre by bus is offered - this is recommended, as it provides an insight into the mysteries of space travel, and allows you to visit areas which are otherwise inaccessible.

Did man really land on the moon?
There are many theories about whether the moon landing events really took place. Come and see the evidence, and decide for yourself!

Author: Guy and Karen Gore (Villa link: click here)
Other articles by this author: click here

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Page added on: 26 February 2006
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