Sometimes we live in a city for so long that we forget to do the tourist-y things. Orlando is basically built on tourism so it's not hard to find something to do here. We decided on our day off to finally go to the Kennedy Space Center. We always see signs for it on our way to the beach but never gave it a second look until now. It's definitely somewhere you have to check out if you're into things that are out of this world.
This is what they call the Rocket Garden. It's so impressive when you first walk through it and see how massive these things are. NASA's Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs are all represented in this garden. It's a tribute to all of the scientists and engineers who turned their dreams of flying people into space to reality. There's a part of the garden where you can get into the top half of a rocket and see what it feels like to be an astronaut looking up at the boundless sky you're about to be launched into. It blows my mind how gigantic these rockets are but even more to think that it was all created by human minds.
When you go to Kennedy Space Center make sure you take the bus tour to the Apollo/Saturn V center. That's where all of the cool stuff will be. This room holds a lot of artifacts from the Apollo moon missions. There's a display of space suits from different missions and the actual capsule from Apollo 14 that delivered three crew members back to earth from the moon. Seeing all of this in person makes you realize how much work is put into ensuring people were being flown into space safely. It took 14,000 people to create the capsule! In this gallery you will also find Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's hand casts as well as some lunar samples and other interesting space artifacts.
This is also part of the bus tour. Walking into this is so surreal. You're literally directly under a rocket that launched humans to the moon. It is 363 feet long (taller than the Statue of Liberty) so imagine how small you feel next to it! It basically takes up the entire room and is a must-see if you visit the space center. 13 Saturn V rockets were launched into space from 1967 to 1972 but this is one of the three remaining in the United States. You almost can't wrap your head around the fact that this giant was built by people AND traveled to space.
The space center actually has a ride that simulates what an actual rocket launch feels like for astronauts. I was terrified to ride it at first but all it does is tilts you upwards and shakes viciously. I guess it's a mild version of what it would actually feel like to be launched into space. In the same building you can see Space Shuttle Atlantis, a rocket that transported astronauts to space and back for 30 years. This is the closest you'll get to seeing the inside of a spaceship.
Tickets to Kennedy Space Center are $57 for adults and $47 for kids. Kennedy Space Center is one of 10 NASA field centers in the US. You can spend all day here exploring the amazing things that space exploration has done for humankind. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in Florida.