March 29-31 (Cocoa ,Florida)
When I think of history, I think of something that occurred a 100 years or more ago……..
On a warm summer day, my Dad arrived home to our summer residence, a two storey log home (our cottage). My father and brother tore down the house log by log and transported it about 30 miles and rebuilt it, log by log beginning in 1967.A few years later, the rebuilding of the cottage was well underway with only floor joists on the main floor while the second floor had a full floor, 3-4 beds, a bathroom and a kitchen area – all temporary living for a while.
On that specific day, he arrived home with something we didn’t have at the cabin at that time, a 19” TV. He had rented (yes rented) one for the weekend to allow us and many of our cottage neighbors to witness one of man’s greatest accomplishments of the 20th century – landing and walking on the Moon. Apollo 11 landed on Sunday July 20, 1969 – which also happened to be my 10th birthday. This day and event will forever be etched, no carved, in my memory.
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”
One of the destinations during our RV journey was a visit to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at Cape Canaveral, Florida. We arrived at our new park on Sunday for three nights with the intention of doing very little with the exception of the NASA tour. Cape Canaveral was about 23 miles away, so on Tuesday we packed up the RV and arrived at the center just before opening at 9 am. What did we do with Jazz you ask for a whole day? The KSC has a free kennel on site, so she went a made some new friends for the day.
We left the KSC at around 5:30 that night, full of new information and facts we learned during the day. I don’t plan on trying to repeat this in the blog. We spent the full day but you could easily spend two days as we didn’t go into at least 3 of the buildings. Seeing some of the actual lunar capsules (Apollo 14 – see pic) and the Space shuttle Atlantis left me awe struck. I could have just sat and looked at the Atlantis for an hour – imagining all the ventures it went on and the astronauts taking space walks building the International Space Station (ISS). Seeing the Canada Arm (2 of them) proudly mounted and identified on the Atlantis was a good feeling.
We visited the memorial site as well reflecting on the fact that with great triumphs comes many failures and sometimes great tragedy. Apollo 1 didn’t even get off the launch pad, when a fire occurred in the command module killing all three astronauts. Apollo 11 landed on the moon with only 30 seconds of fuel remaining when it missed its planned landing site by several miles. Apollo 13 barely made it back to Earth when they had to abort their landing mission. And then there was the Shuttle program, with the loss of 14 lives on two separate occasions losing both Challenger and Columbia orbiters. Risks are very high but rewards even greater!
At the height of the Apollo program, 1961-1972 KSC employed some 21,000 people. During the shuttle program, 15,000. KSC now has approximately 8,000 people on staff, with many working on the future space program and module – the Orion which is meant for deep space travel. They are talking about Mars and 3 year missions…. 6 months to just get there!
So much information!!! It was a great day and extremely interesting. Worth going to if you are in the vicinity.
On April 1st we will be relocating to Port Orange (a suburb of Daytona Beach) for a week of R and R.