After a morning of school, we drove back to KSC to take the tour buses around the complex.
The tour was well-narrated with informational mini-movies while traveling in the bus. We passed the building that houses the shuttle when they're working on it. It has enormously tall doors that take 45 minutes to open. The bottom part opens sideways, like regular hanger doors, the 7 sections above them are each on their own pulley system and stack at the very top like a deck of cards.
Nate was so tired after a couple of broken nights that he fell right to sleep, despite the ride only being 10 minutes, everyone around was 'ahhh'ing!
The Observation Tower gave us good information and insight into how the shuttle launch process worked and the work that happens in the run up to launch day. We were able to look out to the launch pad and see the new one which is being put into place for the next stage in space exploration.
Onwards to the Apollo rocket - wow! Unfortunately our camera batteries died so we had to buy a disposable at this point, interested to see how those pictures turned out. We were of course, amazed by the sheer size of the rocket, it's awesome. We waited to see the show about the first moon landing and the many mishaps in the run up to their success.
We hadn't realized how close they had come to aborting the moon landing. Neil and Buzz were basically on their own, piloting the small craft onto the surface as the coordinates were so off and other options were unworkable. We were all glued to our seats, funny, given that we knew the positive outcome!
Back at the main area, I took the 3 older ones on the shuttle simulator and Dave and Nate came up with us as VIP's to observe in the viewing area, which meant they were part of the pre-ride briefing and videos. This time, Caitlin knew what she was in for and was happily prepared! The thing that struck me while we were waiting were the multiple interviews with shuttle astronauts and their different observations and comments, so many of them attributed space exploration and their continued safety to God. It was good to hear.
We looked in on one of the 'coming soon' exhibits and road tested a couple of their 'moon landing' control panels - it was tough!
Just before closing, we had the kids run to the playground to spend some time racing around the fantastic climbing frames and tunnels. Thank goodness, this time, it was the employees of KSC asking them to leave and not us!
After a quick grocery store stop, we arrived back at the campground to discover that a few families had already arrived for the rally - there was much excitement and a need to run off immediately and play!
States visited: 49!
visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800
Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)