Linus is obsessed with rocket ships. All day, every day, you’ll find him gripping a toy rocket and rehearsing launches. He watches NASA documentaries in lieu of cartoons and spends his reading time intently perusing books about astronauts, rockets, space and shuttles. It’s become something of a game in our house to ask Linus, “Are you a baby?” because without fail he always answers, “No, I’m an astronaut.” So our visit to Kennedy Space Center was extra special.
We started out in the rocket garden. Linus couldn’t be contained. He ran between the models excitedly pointing to each one and declaring, “Another rocket ship!”.
Here’s Veda sitting in a capsule with Nana. Poor Veda, she was pretty uncomfortable that day (see Day 3 parking lot incident).
Running through the rocket garden.
Veda being carried through the rocket garden on Granddad’s shoulders. This photo is terribly blurry, but I love it.
Linus studying some models with his dad.
Two subjects I’ve learned a lot about from my son: construction equipment and NASA. Before Linus turned into our resident rocket man, I never thought much about how space vehicles get to their launching pads. I’ve since learned that they’re transported on a huge vehicle called a crawler that moves at a creeping 1 mph. Think a flat top mounted on tank caterpillers. All this I knew from the many library books we’ve studied, but until our KSC visit I didn’t realize just how big all of the involved equipment is. Here we’re driving by a crawler track. The grass you see is a median between wheels. The rocks you see on each side are where the caterpillers sit. WOW.
This is a building that existed for the purpose of assembling the Saturn and Apollo crafts, and fully assembled, those vehicles took up just about every bit of it. These spacecraft are taller than I ever imagined. It takes 45 minutes just to raise the hanger door.
Despite not feeling the greatest, Little Miss enjoyed her day as well.
This next exhibit was great. Here’s the control room from the Saturn V launch (Man’s first journey to the moon). It’s the actual equipment as it appeared on that day.
The countdown clock was set to 3 minutes before launch, and we got to hear the recording of the countdown in the control room, with the seat of each member lighting up as he spoke. With all of the documentaries we’ve been watching, it’s gotten pretty easy to be sucked into the emotion of a launch. Even though we already know how each one ended, it’s incredible to imagine being there.
Even after seeing the assembly building, even after seeing the crawler track, I still couldn’t believe how HUGE the actual Saturn V was. This is the real thing – not a model!
Here Veda is touching an actual piece of the moon.
And Veda pointing to a space suit while requesting to eat it. *Sigh* It was time to go.