We spent Saturday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, about an hour's drive from Orlando. Let me start by saying, "Yoo-hoo!". Space Shuttle Discovery was on its launch pad in preparation for lift-off on Monday, November 1st. As you can see by our main web-page photo above, we were able to get within a couple miles of the shuttle on our NASA/Kennedy Space Center bus tour. Discovery, and its crew of six astronauts, will deliver a payload to the International Space Station. This will be the last trip for Discovery, as the shuttle program winds down in the next six months.
On the first photo to the right, you can see a wire cable leading downward from the launch tower. If something goes wrong during pre-launch, the astronauts would high-tail it out of the shuttle cabin, hop into wire baskets, and slide down the cable into a bunker. They would then hop into an armored tank/transport and drive out of the area ASAP! The crew has been at the Kennedy Space Center for the past week or so practicing that maneuver (and many others).
We really enjoyed the visit and seeing so much "space history" (rockets, space capsules, launch pads, shuttle runway, mission control center, and so on). We also had the chance to see a couple of alligators in the canal running alongside the road...those critters are apparently everywhere there is a body of water in Florida! (I am staying out of the bath tub!)
On Monday we head to the "Magic Kingdom" for the day, and then take-off to the Miami area by mid-week.
Don & Sandi