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Old 31 May 15, 02:27 AM  
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SMAX
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IPW 2015 - Orlando Day 2 - Kennedy Space Center


After an early start it was time to register for #IPW15

Visit Orlando are running the press room and the trip today to Kennedy Space Center.



The press room is equipped with computers and printers along with food and drink.

Visit Las Vegas is co hosting and providing the Internet and computers.



Two bus loads were taken for the tour. We were given a pack with some info, a pen and Astronaut Ice Cream

Also we were given a cool bag with our lunch in to eat on the 45 minute journey.






Our first stop was the Atlantis shuttle exhibition. As you approach the complex you can see the giant external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters that became the entrance to the shuttle building.



Inside the building you are treated with various large wall displays of various aspects of the shuttle program.



There is a brief pre show before the next stage of the tour.



Into the next room there is an array of shaped screens that the film segments are projected on.

This is very impressive and visually stunning. I was very impressed with this as the segments of screens that ran all around and overhead didn't always contain the same scene. Various clips were intertwined in different areas.









At the end the screen went up and we were treated with this most impressive sight.

The actual shuttle Atlantis. The last ever shuttle to fly and the only one on display as if it was actually in space on a mission. The payload doors open to view. You cannot see this in any other shuttle exhibition.






Our guide was none other than the Astronaut Tom Jones. Not the Welsh guy that sings but a Mission Specialist that flew on this very shuttle. Clocking up and impressive 19 hours in 3 space walks to build the International Space Station.



Having a real Astronaut show us his actual space craft was an honour. He certainly entertained us with his stories and facts about the craft, engines and the heat shield tiles as he detailed the various materials and the different tasks they perform.



And we all got to meet him with a photo op.



There is also a mock up of the Hubble Space Telescope that was designed to fit into the cargo bay of the shuttle.



Along with other exhibits and one of the shuttle engines.



As you walk down to the lower level the walls are lined with large mission emblems for the shuttle missions. A NASA tradition to commemorate the men and women on each flight.






Downstairs there are various simulators where you can land the shuttle and also simulate a launch. Sadly we did not have time to do this on the tour due to time limitations.

So we exited through the obligatory gift shop.



Next we went on a bus tour of the facility. This is launch pad 39a. Famous not only for the shuttle launches but for the Apollo program that landed man on the moon.



This massive unit actually carried the shuttle from the assembly building all the way out to the launch pad.



Some facts. The huge machine crawled along like a snail at a quarter of a mile per hour when fully loaded.

I would not want to pay the fuel bill as it used 150 gallons per mile.



The vehicle assembly building. Originally designed to stack the various parts of the Saturn V rocket vertically. It was later used to assemble the shuttle before launch.

The flag is the biggest in the U.S. Taking 600 gallons of paint by hand. Each stripe is 8ft wide.



The smaller building next door were used to garage each shuttle.



Next stop was the Apollo Saturn V Center.



As usual there is a small pre show.



You then go into the Firing room where you can see the actual consoles used for the launches of the Saturn V rockets..



The show counts down the procedure for a real launch. During the launch the seats shake with the force of the blast off.



As you exit this show you are greated with the large rear end of the Saturn V 3rd stage rocket engines. The sheer scale of this cannot really be expressed in a photo.






The 2nd stage rocket motors.



3rd stage.



The lunar lander module.



Which was housed in this cone during the flight.



The command module. Used to transfer the two astronauts to the lander while the third stayed in orbit around the moon.






You can actually touch the Moon in here. A slice of an actual moon rock is inside.



I touched the Moon



The info panel



There are plenty of exhibits and info panels that are worth reading.



This is the actual Apollo 11 capsule that brought the first men that ever walked on the moon back home to Earth.



There is also a theatre that shows how near the Apollo 11 astronauts came to disaster when coming in to land on the surface of the Moon.

All in all a great day at Kennedy Space Center. With thanks to Visit Orlando for organising the trip and Delaware North who run the visitor center at Kennedy for the transportation and special tour.


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Old 31 May 15, 03:42 AM  
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Old 31 May 15, 07:41 AM  
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Looks great, this is somewhere OH wants us to visit next trip, my little girl has autism and a real passion for anything to do with space ,this would be right up her street too. Wasn't sure it would be mine if I'm honest but your report is swaying me lol and I think I would enjoy it too.
Thanks for sharing
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Old 31 May 15, 07:42 AM  
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Looks fab can't wait to see it all for myself...
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Old 31 May 15, 07:57 AM  
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The Apollo V building is one of the most impressive things I've seen. Hard to convey the sheer size in photos. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go to Kennedy but ai was pleased we did.

I'm enjoying your reports
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Old 31 May 15, 08:55 AM  
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Wow IPW looks amazing how did you manage to go, is it for orlando specialists?
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Old 31 May 15, 11:15 AM  
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Brings back memories of our last visit to KSC, thank you Simon
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Old 31 May 15, 11:34 AM  
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Absolutely love visiting KSC, a great day out.
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Maybe our 17th trip.
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Old 31 May 15, 11:40 AM  
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A great day out

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Old 31 May 15, 08:00 PM  
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Looks fantastic. Am now wondering whether we visit with our 9 and 7 year old this summer?
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3 weeks this time!
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