The last big event of our vacation was something I had wanted to do for years…visit Kennedy Space Center!
You can’t turn around without tripping over a reference to President Kennedy!
One of the things I was most excited about seeing was right inside the front gate…the Rocket Garden:
We got to take a bus tour past historic launch sites, before going around the Vehicle Assembly Building. It doesn’t have a bad side! It was really cool to see it in person, because you just can’t grasp how big it is from pictures or even videos!
The bus tour ends at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. We got to see what Mission Control looked like at the time of Apollo 8:
The star of the center is the Saturn V (although there are lots of other things to see, too!). Again, it’s so hard to comprehend its size without seeing it for yourself!
No trip to Kennedy would be complete without seeing a piece (or two) of the moon:
We also walked through the Apollo 1 Tribute, which was unbelievably moving.
We were there at just the right time, because we got to see Artemis I out on the launch pad for a test, and now it’s time for it to fly!
We walked through the Moon Tree Garden, which has trees grown from descendants of seeds that were taken to the moon. There is a lovely statute of the crew of Apollo 11, and markers noting each mission of the Apollo program:
After we took the bus back to the main visitors’ complex, we visited Space Shuttle Atlantis.
We also learned about the other Space shuttles, including the two that were lost. The memorial to them was one of the most moving things on our trip, so much so that I didn’t take pictures of the memorial itself.
There is a larger memorial, the Space Mirror Memorial, dedicated to all of the lost astronauts, located outside:
There are other things to see outside, too:
I really enjoyed walking through the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame:
We also visited Gateway, which looks at the future of space travel. We got to see a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster that has flown twice:
Speaking of which, we were lucky enough to be at Kennedy for a launch. We saw (and heard) it from quite a distance, but it was still impressive, and seeing it in the shadow of the Rocket Garden was really special!
I’m so glad I finally got to have this experience!