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Old 7 Sep 20, 03:31 PM  
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Andy C
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The Quest For Toad - The No Queues Trip 2019 - Day 9 - KSC "Blast off at last!"

Day Nine swings around and we're up and excitedly checking the spaceflight news. The mission is... still at 80% likelihood to launch. Possible high winds at altitude might cause a scrub; they're going to be watching that carefully and could scrub the launch all the way up to the last moment.

We're going to KSC anyway, and those 80% odds are good enough for me right now.

Due to the need to get going really early, and following signs of rebellion from our tummies, we settle for toast and cereal for breakfast instead of Dennys and we're off eastwards. Up the I4 and down the 528 and we're cruising along cheerfully.

We try to find a radio station that might be covering the launch, but can't seem to locate any NASA FM. We do come across something like half a dozen evangelical stations, however, which is less helpful. Unless we're getting a message that we should pray for good weather for the launch, I guess. We come off onto Cocoa Boulevard and slowly down the road. I've got to find a decent parking space close to the beach.

I hook a right where there are signs for parking, and I'm immediately reassured that we're in the right place: the tariff has been overlain with a printed piece of paper escalating the price from $5 to $20. If they're gouging, they're covering the launch.

Parking up and off to the pier.



Where we can get coffee.



And stare out across the water in what will turn out to be the wrong direction



We get onto the pier wifi (having got the password due to buying some only-slightly-overpriced coffees, and I manage to get the countdown, which is STILL ON SCHEDULE

We get ready. 10.

9.

8.

7.

6.

5.

4.

3.

2.

1.

Lift off!

And we see... nothing. Then DD1 points over to the left and we see it!



It's amazing.





i.imgur/VFcGSXM.mp4

We watch merrily and then pile back to the car and head to KSC.



We're there less than an hour after the launch.



We do the Atlantis exhibit...









... go around the Bus Tour (seeing the Vehicle Assembly Building and the SpaceX facility)...











... and check out the Apollo building with the Saturn V moonrocket in it, including the Apollo 10 Launch experience...







... before having lunch pretty much under a massive moonrocket.









Back to the Visitors Centre.



And to the Rocket Garden...



... Memorial...





Shuttle Launch Experience...









... and wandering around some excellent exhibits, before The Lad got to meet an astronaut.



It was a great day, slightly tempered by most of us having to fight off the brutal heat and developing headaches. We got back to Orlando in the early evening and I went to pick up Chinese takeaway before crumpling into bed early with a blazing headache.

Worth every minute, though.

Edited at 03:32 PM.
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Old 7 Sep 20, 08:08 PM  
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mick
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Brilliant day

Joan
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Old 8 Sep 20, 05:10 PM  
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WIGGYSMUM
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This looks like an amazing day , the launch looked brilliant!
Never done the Space Centre, it was on this years list ... and now moved to 2021 🙏🏻
Thanks for sharing
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Old 9 Sep 20, 11:30 PM  
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Loobylou_82
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Brilliant. Glad you got to see the the launch.

Edited at 11:31 PM.
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Old 12 Sep 20, 09:03 AM  
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flo-tinka
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What an experience for you all with that rocket launch 👍
KSC better with big kids for sure
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