Titusville, Florida   Leave a comment

Day 24-26

Home of the Kennedy Space Center and Astronaut Hall of Fame.

We started out at the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Remembering the loss of the 3 Apollo 1 crewmembers in 1967 during a routine simulated launch test, the 1986 loss of the 7 Challenger STS-51L crewmembers 73 seconds after liftoff when an o-ring failed, and the loss of the 7 Columbia STS-107 crewmembers in 2003 when the space shuttle broke apart during re-entry over east Texas, 16 minutes from home was a somber experience.

Since 1981 the Kennedy Space Center’s shuttle landing facility serves as the primary landing site for all space shuttle missions. The first space shuttle, Columbia, launched from Kennedy Space Center on April 12, 1981, with astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen aboard. This began the new era of “reusable” space shuttles.

Pictured below is the vehicle assembly building. Hard to believe that after they assemble the shuttle that they can get it out of that building.

The shuttle below will be shipped to Houston for display.

Below is one of the space launch sites.

Before leaving the complex, we hopped on the Space Shuttle Flight and Landing Simulator. We were able to view the launch control center for the Saturn V, which sent Apollo 8 astronauts into orbit around the moon.

It was exciting to sit there and imagine what it felt like to be in the control room at that time.

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