Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The End of an Era

Our recent trip to Florida was planned to see the launch of the final space shuttle mission.  This was our third shuttle launch viewing...and we were lucky to get the tickets!  Before the end of the shuttle mission was announced, all you had to do was go online when there was going to be a launch and buy the type of tickets you wanted.  After NASA said the shuttle program was ending everyone wanted tickets.  NASA started a lottery program to get the chance to buy launch tickets.  We entered our name and so did our cousins in Florida.  Lizz  also entered.  Lizz's name was chosen and she won the opportunity to buy up to six tickets.  We didn't have a choice of what kind of tickets - viewing from the visitor complex, the causeway or the Astronaut Hall of Fame.  She went online and was able to get the ticket for the visitor complex! (The tickets we wanted.)

It was crowded, but you could still find room for your chair

The Kennedy Space Center is open year round with exhibits, shows, Imax movies, a bus tour of the facility and more.  You can learn everything about space travel and then some!  If you are really into this kind of activity you can have lunch with an astronaut for an additional charge.  The launch day tickets are the same price as the usual entry - $45.53, but the bus tours don't run on launch days.  The launch day tickets are also good for entry on one other day within a week so you can view what you may have missed.

The site was crowded, but we thought not as much as during our previous launch visits.  There are bleachers to sit on or you can bring your own chairs or blankets.  There are a few places to get refreshments and of course places to buy your souvenirs.

We enjoyed the rocket garden, exhibits about the space program, a temporary Star Trek exhibit with the original sets, costumes and props, plus they had live programs with astronauts talking about the space program and answering questions from visitors.
Part of the rocket garden

Lizz and Dennis on the Enterprise bridge

One of the Star Trek costume

The launch went off on time (not always the case) and everyone enjoyed witnessing history!  If you are in Florida - this is a great place to spend a day.
Atlantis STS-135  Final shuttle mission

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