Sea Oats

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kennedy Space Center

We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T. S. Eliot

Shuttle Atlantis with bay doors open.
It's been over 20 years since I've been to the Space Center and they have made some wonderful changes. There are so many exhibits and things to see and do, it will really keep you busy. They are very accessible, even to walking along a real space shuttle (the Atlantis) and it's open cargo bay.

That can be a bit of downside to things. There are so many things to see and do you may have a hard time choosing what to do first. I would do the two IMax theaters first. They are each about an hour long. One is in 3D and the other is not. They are really well done. Then you can move into the park to see other exhibits and displays.

The whole place is accessible to those with mobility and other issues. Ramps and handheld electronic guides smooth your way. Even some of the buses have special lifts with wheelchair lifts. The drivers have a sense of humor and ours was so funny he got a rousing round of applause after the ride to launch pad 39A.
Taking a stroll in space.

Several movies and space shots have highlighted our striving to reach the stars and the Center really brings it all home. From the Rocket Garden to a real Saturn rocket (really big!), everything draws you into the narrative about man's efforts to play among the stars. Elan Musk's SpaceX is already at the launch center, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon has recently announced that he hopes to put people into low Earth orbit by 2020 and it would probably be available to Prime Members first. And of course, Richard Branson has already built space planes to carry people into space in the next few years.

The Shuttle Experience is pretty dramatic and may be a little too much for really young children. Just explain to them they will be completely safe and I'm sure they will have a great time. It's very realistic according the the astronauts who have been to space. Don't skip it. There is a viewing area for those who just can't bring themselves to get thrust into space at 17,500 miles per hour! Adults and children were coming out with smiles and bubbling enthusiastically about the experience.
Giant Saturn rocket engines.

This Center is great for all ages. Teens, youngsters and adults all seem to enjoy themselves. If you have young ones, you may want to opt for a Multi-day pass. The Center is not cheap, but less expensive than the other theme parks up the road. One of the nice things is that you can upgrade your regular admission to a Multi-day pass on the same day while you are in the park. So if you find you can't do everything and see all the exhibits in one day, head over early to the ticket booth and pay half price for another day. The Visitor Center is not supported by your tax dollars, so it is a pretty good deal.

Kids and others will want to stop for lunch and restroom breaks and to do justice to seeing all the exhibits, you really should allow two days.

Included with General Admission:  
• Space Shuttle Atlantis℠ • Twin IMAX® Theater 3D Films
• Shuttle Launch Experience® • Special Viewing for Rocket Launches
• Meet an astronaut • Numerous Shows and Exhibits
• General Bus Tour

• FREE 2-day admission to Astronaut Hall of Fame® (if used within seven days)

Parking is $10 for cars and goes up from there. Check the web site ( )for complete details. In fact, I would go the site and look around to pre-plan your visit. It will at least give you an idea of what there is to see.

The Center will fill you with an unexpected sense of pride. Not to be missed.