For those of you who have read some of my previous posts, you’ll see that I have a deep love and fascination for all things space-related. My recent trip to Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s Space Coast was a real treat. KSC is like a scientific amusement park of sorts, nestled in between spaceship manufacturing plants and rocket launch pads.
KSC is a sprawling complex of buildings which highlight the brightest moments of humanity’s time in space. One of the more awe-inspiring attractions is the so-called “Rocket Garden” which is home to numerous launch vehicles with plaques describing their name, flight experience, and specifications.
There is also a bus tour with a tour guide and videos which takes you around the entire NASA complex to see views of all the modern day buildings where the nation’s scientists are engineers are hard at work constructing the future’s space vehicles like NASA’s long-awaited Space Launch System. This bus tour also leads to a separate KSC building which contains a Saturn V rocket, the launch vehicle which propelled mankind to the moon. It is still the only launch vehicle to have taken astronauts beyond Earth’s orbit.
For me personally, the coolest thing at Kennedy Space Center is the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Following 33 missions in space, Atlantis was retired with the rest of the shuttle place and sent to be displayed in its own exhibit at KSC. Since this is the largest real spaceship (most of the ships at Kennedy Space Center haven’t actually been to space), it’s only fitting that it is displayed with distinction for all to see. There are also simulators in Atlantis’ building which let you practice landing and docking a virtual space shuttle.
Seeing Kennedy Space Center gives me hope for the future of NASA. The American space program must continue onwards to continue advancing technology and bring humans closer to the stars. I’d encourage any interested tourists of all ages to visit Kennedy Space Center the next time you’re in Florida. If you add KSC to your to-do list along with the normal Central Florida staples of Disney World and Universal, you’re sure to have a great trip on your hands.