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Road Trip to Florida and visiting Kennedy Space Center- Part 2

Posted on February 2, 2023

The first part of the trip was to watch the Daytona Rolex 24hr Race.
Click here for Part 1 of the story including doing a recovery of a stuck pickup truck on the beach.

The next item to check off the bucket list was to visit the Kennedy Space Center. Yes I’m a fan of the space program, especially the early days when nobody had a clue what they were doing and not only did the technology not exist but nor did the math to actually get a man to the moon. So seeing first hand such iconic pieces of the space race, was truly amazing.

Vehicle Assembly Building

It was a bit of drive from the hotel in Palm Coast, made longer than necessary because we typed “Kennedy Space Center” into the GPS, which took us through Titusville, FL and directly towards the actual launch areas. We realized we were heading to the wrong place when we approached a police check-point and security gate. The guard was quite understanding and advised us to type in “Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex” to get where we wanted to go. You can see how we made the mistake.

About 30min later we were at the right place and before long were on a tour bus heading right back to the secure area that we almost drove into earlier. Well at least this time were doing it properly…legally!

Forced perspective shot in front of a Saturn V Rocket
Apollo Capsule

Driving by the Assembly Building and the huge crawlers used to transport rockets and the space shuttles of the past was truly awesome. The Apollo/Saturn V Building was amazing with an actual Saturn V rocket and Apollo 8 capsule on display as well as various artifacts from the era.

Back at the Visitor Complex, and a highlight of the experience was getting up close to the actual Atlantis Space Shuttle. Atlantis was the last shuttle to fly and when the shuttle program ended, Atlantis was mounted here on a 43.21 degree angle (NASA humour) and the whole building was built around it. Did I mention the launch simulator? You you gotta try this thing! I don’t know how they did it but it apparently closely replicates what astronauts experienced during the shuttle launches. If you have any fillings in your teeth, they may get shaken loose and and loose items in your unsecured pockets, you can kiss them goodbye.

Shuttle Atlantis

And it’s with that our trip was over. We checked in to a nearby hotel with a view of the launch pads (unfortunately there weren’t any scheduled while we were there) and the next day we started the two day drive home.

Just like the drive down, it was a long two days and no road trip is complete without inclement weather. Waking up in Virginia with everything covered in a thick layer of ice, made for some tricky driving initially.

Eventually though the roads cleared and we made it back to Toronto.

I wonder what the next adventure will be…stay tuned.

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