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Last updated 11pm Sunday 23 September 2012

September 22 - Dentist and Orlando

Well yes the Dentist has to rate a mention because he did a mighty fine job of keeping David calm during a very efficient root canal.

To cheer David up afterwards Bill drove us to the new Animation Resort.  Here are a few highlights.

It's the cluster bearing.... no it has to be the spark plugs.

The neighborhood the dentist works in  -  Celebration

Bills back yard.  Be careful in the wetter months.  The next door neighbor discovered an Alligator in his pool and Bill and Jan had a snake in their pool drain!!!!!! 

September 23 - Kennedy Space Centre

On our way to Kennedy Space Centre  - NASA 

Pictured below some of Downtown Orlando on a Sunday morning.

Approximately 60 miles down the Peninsular later here we are.   I spotted two Alligators in the swamps along the highway on the way here.

Pictured below - The Rocket Garden.  Boy, the last time I saw this it was just rocks and gravel.  It was basically, yeah go have a wander about our space junk.  Now the whole area has been vastly upgraded and included lots of 3D and IMAX presentations and a fantastically awesome rocket launch simulation. 
David was extremely nervous about the launch, I couldn't wait.  It was a a fabulous experience and extremely educational.  Now remember this is not a thrill ride, it is an actual simulation of a rocket launch into space.  You feel the power of the lift off pushing you into space, you feel the 'G' force on your face, you feel the extreme vibration and rocking about as the rocket leaves the launch pad and continues on gaining speeds that you though were impossible and when the stages of the rocket break away you feel the sensation of weightlessness.  Everyone in the launch went Ooooooooooooooo at that point.  Then we just floated in space for a while looking about and that was the end of the experience. 

An assembled Apollo - part of the rocket garden below

An extremely inspiring mural of the International Space Station

The building below is used to assemble the rockets and house space shuttles for maintenance.  It is 52 stories high.  Each of the door panels you can see take 45 minutes to open The bottom sliding doors are the equivalent of 8 lanes of freeway wide.

The space shuttle is only 18 stories high so they don't need to open all the panels.

Here is the crawler (it travels one mile an hour)  to get rockets and or shuttles to the launch pad. The crawler is four stories high.

Up close and personal - Launch pad 39A - the original and the best of the Apollo launches have taken place on this pad.

The cradle for the Space Shuttle.  They had to modify the launch pad to accommodate Space Shuttle Launches

Up close and even more personal - a very special moment at the base the the launch pad.  This is where all the flames and fumes fan out (there are two square holes in the bottom of the crawler you might be able to see.  This is where the rocket flames come through and then released out to the side of the launch.  Anyone standing where I am standing would be instantly incinerated.  Even at 400 meters you would be incinerated and at 800 meters the noise would kill you.  The launch vibration and noise makes your heart stop. 
The minimum requirement is to be three miles away from the launch site.

This is a very special time for those visiting the Launch site due to the fact that NASA are unsure these types of visits will continue into 2013 due to proposed commercial interests that may arise.

David and I near ground zero so to speak.

The road the astronauts travel to get to the launch pad

The bunker the astronauts stay in should there be an emergency evacuation of the ship.  Apparently this bunker is double story and has offices and living quarters.

The crawlers long journey starts near hear.  This gives you an idea on how wide it is.

Pictured below is the original control room.

From the documentary of the launch of the first man Moon Mission you exit through doors to look up to this - Saturn V (this rocket was never used)

See if you can see this little check list.  When and when not to abort a flight.

What a day.  We are happy chappies indeed.

Gosh I only had 10 minutes to hit the gift shop.......

And then it was back to Bill and Jan's for a yummy BBQ dinner.  All this Space stuff really gives you an appetite.
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