the rocket garden
On our trip to Florida, we also went to the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island. Mister's mother lives in the area of Florida deemed "the space coast" which I think is an awesome name. I love learning about space. I am totally fascinated by it. When I was 10 my family went on a vacation to Florida for some beach time and my parents took me to the Kennedy Space Center. I was completely amazed with everything there. We did the longer bus tour and got to see shuttle launch pads, training centers, old rockets and shuttles, and eat space food. We were also extremely lucky because when we were there we got to see a shuttle launch, the Atlantis.  This shuttle took Shannon Lucid up into orbit to stay on the Mir Space Station.  When she came back to Earth 188 days later she gained the record of the longest time spent in space by an American and by a woman (as of a few years ago, she no longer holds these records).   Two years later, one of my favorite books, Space, came out and we traveled all over Texas making an important stop at the Johnson Space Center.  Those two things kind of cemented my love of Space.  But enough with all that.  

This trip to the Kennedy Space Center was amazing.  There were many more displays to see, things to do, and places to explore.  I particularly loved getting to walk around in the space shuttle Explorer and going on the Shuttle Launch Experience.  Both of those things were unavailable when I was 10.  If you ever have a chance to go to either space center (Kennedy is my favorite of the two, though that just might be for nostalgia) you should definitely go there.  And take the bus tours at least once (we didn't bus it up this past time, too hot & not enough time).

I think it's just heartbreaking that the shuttle launches are ceasing with the end of the space shuttle program and the NASA budget cuts.  I'm of the opinion that space exploration is important, it fosters an adventurous learning spirit and gives people something to look to outside themselves.  It's just really sad to me that our country cares more about putting money into weapons and pointless wars with the grossly astronomical (space adjective!) military expenditures than putting money into exploration of space.  From now on, if we even want to send someone up into space we have to go through Russia.  Sigh.

The regret on our side is, they used to say years ago, we are reading about you in science class. Now they say, we are reading about you in history class.
-- Neil Armstrong, July 1999, Gemini 8 and Apollo 12, first man to ever walk on the moon.

Anyway, let's end this on a good note.  I had a fantastic time on the Space Coast!  Yay!

Space Shuttle Explorer

1 comment: