Only 45 Years later….

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.

Squawk soon!

Rocket Garden
Rocket Garden
Tiled mural of International Space Station (ISS)
Tiled mural of International Space Station (ISS)
Astronaut Kathy in a capsule similar in size as John Glenn flew in during 1961  - 1st time in space
Astronaut Kathy in a capsule similar in size as John Glenn flew in during 1961 – 1st time in space
A model of the Orion command module NASA is working on for future deep space missions-eventually Mars
A model of the Orion command module NASA is working on for future deep space missions-eventually Mars
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Kennedy Space Center-Cape Canaveral
The astronauts RV for their trip to the launch pad
The astronauts RV for their trip to the launch pad
Picture of a picture showing the Orbiter docked with the ISS
Picture of a picture showing the Orbiter docked with the ISS
Impressive - boosters on the shuttle
Impressive – boosters on the shuttle
The large round connection behind the capsule used for docking to the ISS
The large round connection behind the capsule used for docking to the ISS
Canada Arm (2) - proudly identified
Canada Arm (2) – proudly identified
The white port below the name is were the crew went through to the International Space Station (ISS)
The white port below the name is were the crew went through to the International Space Station (ISS)

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JFK-On Space exploration
JFK-On Space exploration
Enlarge this if you can-worth a read
Enlarge this if you can-worth a read
Actual Apollo 14 Lunar Capsule - 3 member crew
Actual Apollo 14 Lunar Capsule – 3 member crew
Lunar rover training vehicle
Lunar rover training vehicle
HOUSTON, "We have a problem" Apollo 13 aborted mission
HOUSTON, “We have a problem”
Apollo 13 aborted mission
Apollo 11- interesting fact about their fuel supply - read attached
Apollo 11- interesting fact about their fuel supply – read attached
Crest for Apollo 11-The Eagle ended
Crest for Apollo 11-The Eagle ended

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The Apollo program began in tragedy with the failure of the 1st mission - 3 deaths
The Apollo program began in tragedy with the failure of the 1st mission – 3 deaths
Saturn 5 rocket used to send them to the Moon - massive!
Saturn 5 rocket used to send them to the Moon – massive!
A 3 mile long runway for the shuttle program
A 3 mile long runway for the shuttle program
Actual control room panels/computers used in Apollo program
Actual control room panels/computers used in Apollo program
Relica of the future rocket and emergency escape rocket on the Orion/SLS
Relica of the future rocket and emergency escape rocket on the Orion/SLS
Vehicle Assy Building(VAB)
Vehicle Assy Building(VAB)

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Us in front of the VAB
Us in front of the VAB
Launch pad 39A-All Apollo missions and some shuttles used this
Launch pad 39A-All Apollo missions and some shuttles used this
The 3 rockets/boosters that sent the shuttle up each time - 2 outer rockets where re-useable
The 3 rockets/boosters that sent the shuttle up each time – 2 outer rockets where re-useable
The "future" program
The “future” program
Nine Bald Eagle nests throughout the Cape's marshlands
Nine Bald Eagle nests throughout the Cape’s marshlands
Many NASA structures all over the Cape
Many NASA structures all over the Cape
Main Vehicle Assy building (VAB)
Main Vehicle Assy building (VAB)
Crawler to transport rockets
Crawler to transport rockets
Space Shuttle Atlantis - Mission Record Very Impressive stats
Space Shuttle Atlantis – Mission Record
Very Impressive stats

 

 

Reflect for a while...
Reflect for a while…

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Last sunset-Grassy Key
Last sunset-Grassy Key

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Only 45 Years later….”

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience s at KSC , Rob and Kathy. Everytime I visit friends in Coco Beach I think I will get to the Space Center next time. Happy Easter travellers!

  2. Hey finally reading your blog! Sounds like you are having a great time! Can’t wait to see you both and hear all the stories in person! Take care!
    Love Ann

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