Be an astronaut at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

After the fantastic Daytona Beach, inspired by the Lonely Planet guide to experience the Shuttle Launch Experience, we reached the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
Classified among Florida's top amusement parks, I would rather insert it in a list of educational parks.

The first surprise, not that good, is the entrance cost, 50$, really expensive, as the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is completely funded by visitors and not by tax dollars. So be prepared to this if you are thinking to visit it.

So do you want to be or feel like an astronaut?
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
The complex is really huge and you can visit different areas as you can see here:
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
First of all the picture to the Nasa symbol, seen so many times, was almost compulsory,
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
You can start from the IMAX Theatre area, where you can watch 3D movies ( that day there was a mission to replace some broken parts of the International Space Station) and learn somethin about astronauts' lifestyle,
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
with a spectacular entrance gallery.
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
Another interesting area is the Rocket Garden, where you can find different space rockets,
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
with the impressive Saturn V rocket and the path to reach the command module of the Apollo 11, the famous mission that landed to the Sea of Tranquillity of the Moon.
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer

USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer

USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
Then you find a mural dedicated to the International Space Station with the flags of associated countries.
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
Then we moved to the "famous" and expected Shuttle Launch Experience, described by Lonely Planet as the ideal place for adrenaline lovers and the expectation increased before as you are bombarded by introductive spots with some ex-astronauts that declare: "it's really similar to the real shuttle launches" and warning messages like: "if you have heart diseases please do not come in". 
How it was? Totally disappointing! It's something that even children can do and if you are expecting an adrenalin experience, well, forget about it...
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex was not limited to this: in fact there are two other places, or stops, you can reach by bus.
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorerIn the first tour we can see the headquarters of the NASA John Kennedy Space Center
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
You can even see the shuttle launch pad, from which the shuttles left the earth to reach the space. The first padillon has interactive movies and the plastic of the launch pad.
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
For sure, the other padillon, the Apollo Saturn V Center was definitely more interesting, with lunar modules
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
the interior of a space cabin,
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
 the Moon rock sample
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
the Skylab Multiple Docking Adapter,
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
the sample of the impressive and largest rocket in the world, the Saturn V,USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
but most of all the real one. Just look at the enormous jets.
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer

After this long visit, we left Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to reach Palm Beach, but the weather was so awful that we did not stop there. However Palm Beach seemed to be a place with huge and luxury villas, not properly affordable for everyone. 

Due to a storm we decided to reach the best place of the entire USA East Coast Road Trip, Miami.

Travel tips:
  • the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is an enormous park so you could easily spend an entire day or at least 5-6 hours;
  • its Shuttle Launch Experience was totally disappointing so don't expect too much;
  • the transfers by bus are quite slow and sometimes it can be quite boring;
  • however, there are really interesting and nice areas that you don't have to miss to;
  • you can even choose more expensive packages like the astronaut training or the lunch with an astronaut;
  • the price is quite expensive;
  • it was awesome to see NASA offices and the Shuttle Launch Pad.

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