Many young children dream of one day traveling into space, launching into the stars in a giant rocket ship. I, on the other hand, never wanted to be an astronaut… that is, until we made a visit to the Kennedy Space Center. From the moment you walk up to the main plaza and see the NASA logo you feel motivated to explore the unknown.
“The eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace.” -John F Kennedy
As you make your way through the front gates you are greeted by the “Rocket Garden” towering above you. These have all been used and retired, except for the small models of capsules for children to climb inside of.
We started our voyage in the “Early Space Exploration” gallery which brings you back to life in the 1960s when America’s main goal was getting to the moon. The gallery also focuses on the growing obsession of Science Fiction during this point in history. Coming face to face with the robot from Lost in Space (an American TV series) was probably my favorite part of this exhibit.
“Danger, Will Robinson!”
Seeing how much astronaut’s suits have changed since the 60s was also very interesting.
After checking out a few more galleries we decided it was time to stopover at the IMAX 3D Cinema, showing one of their two films every hour. We watched “Journey to Space 3D” which teaches viewers about NASA’s future plans on traveling to Mars. The other film was “Hubble 3D” narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Both films make mention of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which you can actually see in person during your venture to the Space Center. This is one of their main attractions so try to do it earlier in the day since the line will continue to grow. Just to put things into retrospect here’s the building Atlantis.
As you can tell, everything here is on a pretty grand scale.
One of the last experiences we had for the day was the bus tour that takes guests to an actual launch pad and the Vehicle Assembly Building. This is definitely a must do! It’s the only way you can ever get a sneak peek of the entire working spaceflight center. A bus departs every 15 minutes so even if there is a long line it should move pretty quickly.
During the bus tour you get dropped off at the Apollo/Saturn V Center which is probably one of the coolest experiences we had. The simulation of lift off in the Firing Room was amazing, as well as seeing Apollo up close. There was only one disappointment during our visit and that was the moon rock. At the beginning of the bus tour they get everyone really amped up for touching a piece of the moon. We were both expecting something the size of a boulder… But it was more of a tiny sliver of the moon… Total letdown.
We spent most of our day exploring the Space Center and although we packed our lunches, there was an overabundance of cafes to choose from on the property. All with clever space names such as: Rocket Fuel, Orbit Cafe, G-Force Grill, Moon Rock Cafe, Milky Way, IMAX SNAX, and Countdown Cafe.
One of the only things we didn’t do while we were there was the “Astronaut Encounter” where visitors can actually meet legendary astronauts for a Q&A. We did made up for it with the next best thing though, got a photo with this guy in a space suit!
We ended our day by watching the sunset at nearby Cocoa Beach and a quick stop at Ron Jon Surf Shop, two more must dos if you’re ever in the area.