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View Full Version : My excursion into KSC



g99
2003-Jun-26, 09:36 PM
Yesterday i went for a trip to Kennedy Space Center. It was fun and dissapointing. The fun part is obvious. The dissapointment was that it had changed alot since i was there last. They now charge a fee to get in and have reasied the prices of almost everything.


But the new Saturn V center was amazing. They had a simulated controll room blast off of the rocket5 with windows shaking and everything.

The Apollo 11 si mulation was vene better. IT really showed the tought time that they had to go throught and all of the errors that happened right befopre the landing. Also instead of showing the actual landing they dropped a LunarLander onto a fake moon stage and had a small astronaut next to it later. :-) See! It is a conspiracy! even NASA is hinting at it every 30 min from 9-5.

During the "Meet a astronaut" We got to hear from Walt Cunningham from Apollo 7. He was a very good, if not opinionated speakier. He was very pestimistic abnout the future of the space program. He believed that we focus too much on safety now and not enought on just getting out there.
He was very interesting to hear about his experiences awith the Apollo program.

He was there 5 years before he got to go up, was the alternate on Apollo 1 and was on the investigation team of Apollo 1. He voiced his opinion that while it was a very sad event, the Apollo 1 disaster was good for the program because they found and fixed the many faults with the Module. He said thast if those faults were not fixed they probobly would of had a worse disaster in space.

They had some models of the new Mars robots and the Video that was recently released. I was surprised at the actual size of the craft. It is about the size of a large riding lawnmower.

They had very little information and stuff about ISS that i could see or find.

To all teachers: I suggest going to the teacher reasource area. We (me and my girlfriend) got alot of information and a free poster for my grilfriend who is in grad school working on her masters for teaching.

here are some thumbnails of pictures i have taken (click for a larger pic). I made the pictures smaller to save bandwith for everyone. Full size are avaulabvle upon request. I have several more pictures than this, but those i felt are some of the best and show different things.



http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/1s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/1.jpg)

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/2s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/2.jpg)

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/3s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/3.jpg)

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/4s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/4.jpg)

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/5s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/5.jpg)

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/6s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/6.jpg)

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/7s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/7.jpg)

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/8s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/8.jpg)

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/9s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/9.jpg)

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/10s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/10.jpg)

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/11s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/11.jpg)

Sever
2003-Jun-26, 09:46 PM
I went to houstan with my family and i thought it was pretty cool, except some guy with a camcorder hanging around his neck told me not to be scared and that he was going to kill me ( this was over a vidio phone thing) I told the lady next to me what happened she told me I had swore at him (I DID NO SUCH THING!!) then after i told my mom about it (she did'nt care) this guy followed me around untill I left ,creepy. But the astronaght icecream was good!

Glom
2003-Jun-26, 09:53 PM
But the astronaght icecream was good!

Mmm, space dots!

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-26, 09:53 PM
Hey, I went to KSC a few years ago, but the highlight of my trip was when I got to hold a piece of the moon. Man, if those security guards weren't there...

g99
2003-Jun-26, 09:56 PM
Yup, the moon rock is still there, plus a mars rock too! :-) You get to touch both. But the moon rock is now in the middle of a restauraunt.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-26, 09:58 PM
Ah, man. You got to touch Mars and I didn't? *Evil Glare* I'd better head back down there to straighten things out...

g99
2003-Jun-26, 10:02 PM
yes and i claimed it in the name of G'Topia! :-)

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-26, 10:04 PM
All right, that's it! *Activates and raises Saturn-V rocket in his backyard* We'll just see about that!

ToSeek
2003-Jun-26, 10:05 PM
During the "Meet a astronaut" We got to hear from Walt Cunningham from Apollo 7. He was a very good, if not opinionated speakier. He was very pestimistic abnout the future of the space program. He believed that we focus too much on safety now and not enought on just getting out there.

He wrote a book post-Apollo and said that most of the astronauts weren't that impressed with the space shuttle, but they'd fly it because it was the only thing going.

CincySpaceGeek
2003-Jun-27, 01:46 AM
He wrote a book post-Apollo and said that most of the astronauts weren't that impressed with the space shuttle, but they'd fly it because it was the only thing going.

IMHO I suppose from their perspective, after having been to the moon and back anything less is just fluff, eh?.

Glom
2003-Jun-27, 12:49 PM
http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/1s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/1.jpg)

You watchin', Cosmic? The LRV is always so cute.

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/2s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/2.jpg)

Stunning profile view of the CSM. Apollo in all its glory. It looks like a pretty wide-angle lens that you were using.

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/3s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/3.jpg)

Head on view of the CM. Nice. With the BPC and LES just above. Great composition.

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/4s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/4.jpg)

The grand SPS. Good angle.

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/5s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/5.jpg)

Good view of the LM, with the magnificent S-IVB in the behind.

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/6s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/6.jpg)

Butt end of the S-IC. The F-1 engines. Glorious.

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/7s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/7.jpg)

The launch pad. Can't make out too much detail though. Need a longer lens.

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/8s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/8.jpg)

The crawler transporter. Excellent.

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/9s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/9.jpg)

Stunning view of the VAB.

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/10s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/10.jpg)

Would that be the Walt Cunningham himself?

http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/11s.jpg (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/11.jpg)

Ahh, the Saturn IB. There was absolutely zero reason to scrap that, even if you were cancelling your moon program.

Darkwing
2003-Jun-27, 01:26 PM
You beat me to it, g99! I went to the KSC last November, and I was contemplating putting up links up to pictures that I took when I was there... Not that I didn't have enough time to do it, but I never got around to it. :D

Well, better late than never, I guess. Sorry, just links, no thumbs...

The "Rocket Garden" at KSC (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/daneldredge/images/v1102-22.jpg)

Space Shuttle Endeavour at Launch Pad 39A (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/daneldredge/images/v1102-23.jpg)

Launch Pad 39B (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/daneldredge/images/v1102-25.jpg)

The Vehicle Assembly Building (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/daneldredge/images/v1102-26.jpg)

The Lunar Module (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/daneldredge/images/v1102-29.jpg)

The Lunar Module again (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/daneldredge/images/v1102-30.jpg)

My wife in front of the CSM (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/daneldredge/images/v1102-31.jpg)

My wife in the Gemini Capsule in the Rocket Garden (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/daneldredge/images/v1102-20.jpg)

My wife in the Genmini Capsule in low Earth orbit. Hoax? You be the judge. (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/daneldredge/images/v1102-20a.jpg)

My own impressions of KSC, commenting on the stuff g99 talked about too.

Never having been there before, I couldn't compre the Saturn V center to anything they had there in the past, but I thought it was great. The "simulated" launch of Apollo 8 that they did was pretty exciting.

The cool thing is that when you leave the Mission Control Room where they did the Apollo 8 sim you enter the huge room where they have the Saturn V on display. The first thing to see is those monstrous F1 engines, which are stunning. My wife blurted out "Wow!" when we first walked into the room. I just wanted to be there without all the public around so I could have climbed all over the displays and check it all out. :)

I thought the Apollo 11 simulation was kind of cheesy and overly dramatized, but then I already knew what happened with all the 1201 and 1202 alarms, etc. I imagine that someone who didn't know how close the landing really was probably got a lot more out of it than I did--most people probably imagined that the Apollo 11 landing was smooth and "easy" without any glitches. During the presentation they also had a short video clip of Neil Armstrong talking about Apollo 11 and the space program in general, which I thought was neat. (As an amusing aside, there is a "Countdown to the next show" which is displayed on a screen and many announcements are made over the PA system saying "You have 1 more minute until the next show," etc., and then the doors close. Despite the multitude of warnings, it was amusing to see the amount of people who didn't heed the warnings literally running towards the doors which were automatically closing as time hit zero, only to see the doors shut in their faces...)

I also saw the 3-D Omni Theater movie of the ISS (they were also showing Apollo 13 but I didn't see that), which was fantastic.

I was disappointed with the Gift Shop--I was looking for a model of a Saturn V to buy, but all they had were Space Shuttles. The Gift shop was packed with people and as such the lines were a mile long and they didn't seem to have any souvenirs worth the wait. (the reason it was so busy was the rush after the movies got out--everyone went straight to the gift shop.

All in all I enjoyed my trip there and it was a lot of fun.

Humphrey
2003-Jun-27, 04:28 PM
Oh i am jealous., You got closeup pics of the pads. Plus a shuttle on it too! All i got is a very poor distance shot of the mars probe. And you can barely see it.



I wish i had a better camera. I plan on getting one in september. Right now all i have is a 2 megapixed digital. I plan on getting a 4 megapixel one with alot more features.

ToSeek
2003-Jun-27, 07:58 PM
When I was at KSC in 1989, I got to go INSIDE the VAB! :D :D

RichField
2003-Jun-27, 08:55 PM
When I was at KSC in 1989, I got to go INSIDE the VAB! :D :D
Now that's cool. Still have a key? Mail me a copy?
I just heard a conversation of someone talking about being in the VAB. They said something to the effect of not realizing how big it really was until they saw what was stored in there (2 Saturn Vs IIRC)*. I'll stop there before I start making parts of the conversation up. :)

I stopped by the KSC on my trip to Florida two years ago. I'd been before and was excited to go back, but when I saw those entrance prices, which didn't even include the bus tour, a must for me if I'm going that far, I turned around and went home. I don't think it would have been as bad if we hadn't bought tickets for the other tourist trap spots. Next time those get left off the list. At least I caught two launches while I was there, one was at night too, always impressive.

* The conversation was recent, but I think the event was some time ago.

BigJim
2003-Jun-27, 09:04 PM
Why? Lucky. Is it really as cavernous as we're told?

I have visited several NASA centers, and I have the privelige of having seen all three remaining Saturn Vs. Viewing the one in Houston I primarily remember as being very hot. The Saturn V in Huntsville is a bit strange; it is lying down like the other two, but for some reason the USRC staff decided to erect a full-scale model of it barely 100 yards away. The one at KSC is a bit harder to see, as it is inside, but is still amazing. One of the things that always struck me as amazingly huge about the Saturn V was the F-1 engine. Every time I see it I am amazed that an engine could be so large.


I was disappointed with the Gift Shop--I was looking for a model of a Saturn V to buy, but all they had were Space Shuttles.

NASA likes to sell lots of shuttle, er.... stuff. I wish they had more Mercury, Gemini and Apollo merchandise sometimes.


Stunning view of the VAB.

All the more so when you're there.


Ahh, the Saturn IB. There was absolutely zero reason to scrap that, even if you were cancelling your moon program.

I don't know what that Saturn IB actually is. At first you'd think it was surplus, but it lacks the Saturn IB paint scheme. Does anyone know if it's real?

Before I part with you, I must tell you the story of the Shuttle landing that I "viewed." About three years ago, we happened to be at Amelia Island, which is near Jacksonville, during the time of a shuttle landing. I begged and begged to go to the KSC to see it. I don't remember what orbiter or mission it was, but seem to remember it being Columbia. Anyway, it was originally scheduled to land at about 5:09 or so. They had to delay the flight by an orbit or two, so by the time it actually landed it was quite late, maybe around 8:00. However, after a 90 minute wait we were lucky enough to be able to get on one of the KSC buses and get to the Launch Observation Gantry. It was dark, though. So I didn't actually end up seeing the shuttle land, but I did get to hear the double sonic booms. Yes, there are two of them - but I was slightly disappointed. They weren't the ear-shattering noise I was expecting, more like a great big drum.

I also have gotten to visit Meteor Crater in Arizona and the VLA. The VLA was VERY cool (well, it was actually very hot, but you know what I mean). Definitely worth a visit. Meteor Crater is a great big hole. There's not much to it. It does have a great visitor center, though. It looks more like crater from the aerial pictures than at the ground. But if you're there and imagine you're viewing a crater on the Moon or another body, it's incredible.

Humphrey
2003-Jun-27, 09:05 PM
One florida semi-secret. Go to coco beach to watch the launches. You get a good view of it going up. :-)

The entrance fees did include the bussing to the Saturn V and launch watxch tower. But no real tour.

I got a AAA discount, so i knocked off a few bucks.

But yes, that reall did **** me offf that they are starting to charge. I have not been there for a few years but it seemes to be less on giving pertinent space information and more tourist stuff. You know the cool stuff.

I still can't remeber seeing anything on ISS or the new shuttle competition. Almost nuthing on the solar system exploration robost. About half of the place was devoted top Apollo and the rest to Mercury and Gemini. A little on Mars was there too. But not much else.

This might be pestimistic, but KSC is stating to turn into a toursit trap like Rich just said.

ToSeek
2003-Jun-27, 09:39 PM
Why? Lucky. Is it really as cavernous as we're told?



It's divided up on the inside, so it's not as impressive inside as out. Unfortunately, they confiscated our cameras (risk of setting off the SRB fuel with a flash, we were told - easy way to end the US space program in one step), so I don't have any photos.

Charlie in Dayton
2003-Jun-27, 09:53 PM
Got to go last January. We were there two days before Columbia. Took scadziillions of pictures. Yes I touched the moon.

If you're going, plan on spending a week, and get the multi-entry pass. KSC is a place where it's worth it to blow a week's time and a week's pay.

And don't forget the Space Dots!

RichField
2003-Jun-27, 11:29 PM
One florida semi-secret. Go to coco beach to watch the launches. You get a good view of it going up. :-)


How's a block from the pier? :wink:

IMHO, the rocket (Atlas, Delta, etc.) launches are actually better than the shuttle in that you can see them from ignition on the ground. The shuttle starts further inland from that point of view so you can't see it until it clears the buildings.

sarongsong
2003-Jun-28, 05:10 AM
Great reviews and tips---thanks all!
Taking notes for The Great Trip East, from the west coast.

Irishman
2003-Jun-29, 10:11 PM
Sounds like they're doing at KSC what they did at JSC with Space Center Houston. Prior to SCH, you could get access to JSC and wander around by yourself, but you had to have a badge to get into buildings except for a few open to tourists. However, I don't think there were any tours. SCH charges a fee to operate, but provides tram tours of various facilities, including getting to view Mission Control, viewing the thermal/vacuum test chambers, and even a tour of the Neutral Buoyancy Lab - the pool for astronaut training. The SCH visitor center also has some cool displays of spacesuits as well as the activities. But yeah, there's dearth of good souvenir stuff - lots of T shirts and keychains and things, but no rockets.

I have never seen a Shuttle launch, but one time I got to see a Delta rocket launch. It was a night launch, and I got a front row seat on the bleachers on the Cape Canaveral site - that's the Air Force side. It was pretty cool, how the flame lit up the night and created some neat glows through the clouds.

ToSeek
2003-Jun-29, 10:53 PM
Sounds like they're doing at KSC what they did at JSC with Space Center Houston. Prior to SCH, you could get access to JSC and wander around by yourself, but you had to have a badge to get into buildings except for a few open to tourists.

If the other NASA facilities are like Goddard, security got a lot more strict after the Oklahoma City bombing, then even more so after 9/11.

Peter B
2003-Jun-30, 02:04 AM
Hey, g99, a couple of questions about the Saturn V, if I may.

I'm building a model of the Saturn V and want to make the colours as close as possible to reality.

1. What was the colour of the F1 engine bells on the first stage? Were they silvery metallic, black metallic, matt black or something else?

2. What was the colour of the SPS engine bell? Same as above?

3. What was the colour of the inside of the top end of the stages (that is, the inside of the skin, above the fuel tank)? Were they yellow, metallic of some sort, or something else?

Thanks for your help.

(Well, anyone who's seen them could have a go at this...)

Humphrey
2003-Jun-30, 02:58 AM
Hmmm...I am not entirely sure peter. Sorry :-( .


But i can give you all of my pics of the Satrun V (not in any real order).

I reduced them to save space.

1 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/12.jpg)
2 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/2.jpg)
3 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/3.jpg)
4 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/4.jpg)
5 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/6.jpg)
6 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/117-1758_img.jpg)
7 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/117-1759_img.jpg)
8 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/117-1762_img.jpg)
9 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/117-1764_img.jpg)
10 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/117-1767_img.jpg)
11 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/117-1768_img.jpg)
12 (http://plaza.ufl.edu/sandler/images/ksc/117-1772_img.jpg)


Hope that helped. Again, sorry i could not be much of a help.

Rue
2003-Jul-02, 12:41 AM
I recall the Saturn V being outdoors. Was it previously kept outdoors? And do they still do the red tour/blue tour thing?

ToSeek
2003-Jul-02, 12:59 AM
I recall the Saturn V being outdoors. Was it previously kept outdoors? And do they still do the red tour/blue tour thing?

It was outdoors when I was there in '89.

Humphrey
2003-Jul-02, 02:26 AM
They built the new interior and building 5 years ago.

Byrd
2003-Jul-02, 03:49 AM
But the astronaght icecream was good!

Mmm, space dots!

Not space dots, but freeze-dried ice cream. Pretty tasty. And crunchy!

Byrd
2003-Jul-02, 03:50 AM
I love going, but I sort of had the same gripe: it was Space 101. I wanted more, actually.

Glom
2003-Jul-02, 08:47 AM
Not space dots, but freeze-dried ice cream. Pretty tasty. And crunchy!

Mmm space dots.

Avatar28
2003-Jul-02, 03:57 PM
How much are they charging for admission now? I'm headed down for a family vacation with my parents and sister week after next. I was thinking about heading back there, but if it's real expensive it's probably not worth it since I've been a number of times.

Humphrey
2003-Jul-02, 05:13 PM
~$30 for admission. $33 if i remeber right.

But we had AAA discount so we got a few bucks off. But we also got the general admission. There is a special admission that lets you acces other areas, but i have no clue where they are or what they are.

Avatar28
2003-Jul-02, 09:43 PM
HOLY!!!! $30!!!

I guess there's one place I won't be going. If I'm paying $30 to get in, it's sure not going to be to KSC. I'm more likely to go to Universal Studios or Disney or the like. Or heck, just stay at the beach/pool.

Looking at the site, I see WHY it's so expensive though. It used to be that you only had to pay for the tours if you wanted to go on them. Now you've got to pay for them whether you want to go or not.

Hmm, does anyone want any souveniers? I charge very reasonable markups. Just enough to cover my admission costs. ;-)