Sunday, November 6, 2016

Kennedy Space Center Visit

Explorer Lens
The John F Kennedy Space Center is one of ten National Aeronautics and Space Administration field centers. It is also NASA’s center of Excellence for launch and payload processing systems.
Situated on the east coast of Florida, KSC is adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
KSC has been NASA’s primary launch center of human spaceflight since December 1968.
Launch operations of Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs were carried from here.

From Jacksonville it is 2 .5 hours drive to Kennedy Space Center.
KSC is operational from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., hence we started early in the morning so that we could reach around the opening time.
Ticket for general admission is $50 approx. You can enhance your visit by opting for different VIP programs.

Things to do in KSC on general admission1. Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour
We started our exploration with the bus tour. Every 15 minutes a bus departs from the Visitor
    Complex and takes you around the Kennedy Space Center. It is a self guided drive-by view tour
    unless you have opted for up-close guided tour. The driver who is also your guide shows you all
    the different buildings, points and devices involved in the shuttle launch and also explain the 
    technicality associated with each one of them. You need to get down at Apollo/Saturn V center 
    from where you can board any bus back to the Visitor Complex.

2. Apollo/Saturn V Center
You can recapture the anticipation and excitement of the launch day and the entire Apollo program
     at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. It is an awesome experience as the whole ambience
     appears to be so real time that you actually feel to be a part of the mission. Here you can also stand
     under the largest rocket ever made, the gigantic Saturn V.
     There are different shows, artifacts and lot of other stuff going around that you will be always
      curious to know more.

3. Shuttle Launch Experience
This is the best of the lot as it takes you closest to the actual Space Shuttle Launch experience.
     It starts with the pre launch briefing by renowned astronaut; sorry I don’t remember the name.
     Next you enter the cabin crew and buckle up for a lifetime experience. The entire thing gets
     vertical and suddenly you hear the sound of ignition. In fraction of seconds you feel to be pushed 
     backwards with complete force as the space shuttle hurtle towards the horizon. When you feel it 
      is getting on your nerves suddenly the sensation of weightlessness takes over.
     Overall this is one hell of an experience.

4. Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit
The real spacecraft, Atlantis is on display at this exhibit.
      It is amazing to see a real spacecraft right in front of your eyes and I must say it is huge.
      The exhibit also features amazing multimedia presentations, around 60 interactive exhibits and
       high tech simulators.

5. IMAX Theater
Here there are 2 incredible space themed movies on display which takes you out of this world.
     One of them is “Journey to Space” which showcases NASA’s bold plans for deep space
      exploration using breathtaking space footage.
     The other one is “A Beautiful Planet” which gives a stunning perspective of Earth from the eyes
       of the astronauts who are on the International Space Station.

6. Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted
In this exhibit the host motivates you to join NASA and be part of the next mission to Mars.
     He also tells about the future prototypes and designs that will launch the next generation to Mars
     and beyond. It is quite interesting and inspiring to know about the future exploration.

7. Rocket Garden
Finally our visit to KSC ended at Rocket Garden. Imagine how just a glimpse of one rocket makes
     you go all gaga and here there is a fleet.
     Around 7-8 rockets are placed vertically and horizontally and the view is really awe-inspiring.

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