I may or may not have a love for NASA and Space Exploration. When you grow up in the south, on the east coast, and with family in Orlando – you tend to enjoy these things. Thankfully I married a man who loves these things as well. As a family, we have been to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral a couple times. We have also toured the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
In 2009, we set our eyes on a Space Shuttle launch but it was scrubbed due to weather in the distance. We drove up from Miami to see the launch and had no intentions of staying overnight. Since it was scrubbed, we found a room left at a “hole in the wall”
hotel motel and bought clothes and toothbrushes from Wal-Mart. The next day we headed out to the Brevard Zoo to pass the time before the launch was scheduled. That spontaneous trip was interesting and adventurous. We ended up kayaking through the Asia Continent in the zoo. Kayaking! That evening we went back over to causeway in hopes to see a launch. It was once again scrubbed due to weather in the distance. Hey, it’s Florida – home of the 5 minute thunderstorm. We decided to call it a loss and went back to Miami.
Fast forward to 2011. We drove back to Cape Canaveral to see one of the last 3 space shuttle launches. As we drove up to KSC to ask for directions to the best free area to see the launch, we were given a V.I.P. pass to get us into Kennedy Space Center. INSIDE! Tickets sell out for the launches and we got in free. It was a sign. We were suppose to be there.
February 24, 2011. My crew settled in inside KSC near retired and current astronauts. The atmosphere was full of excitement and nerves. The launch was being rumored as a scrub. Over the radio- “Go for launch. Go for launch. No Go for launch.” Those dreadful words. No Go. Then they fixed something, and started the “Go, No Go Sequence” again. Woo-Hoo. STS-133 is a go for launch! 3…2…1…We have lift-off. The ground shook. The air filled with a rumbling sound, and all eyes were on the sky as the smoke gave way to the beautiful shuttle, Discovery.
Launch: 4:53:24 p.m. EST – Feb. 24, 2011
Landing: 11:57:17 a.m. EST – March 9, 2011
Mission Number: STS-133 (133rd space shuttle flight)
Launch Window: 10 minutes
Launch Pad: 39A
Mission Duration: 12 days, 19 hours, 4 minutes and 50 seconds
Landing Site: KSC
Inclination/Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles
35th station flight (ULF5), EXPRESS Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4), Permanent Multi-Purpose Module (PMM)
300mm, Exposure: 1/2500 sec., f/5.6, ISO 200
Fast Forward to January 2015. Big C (a.k.a. Bubba) and I went to KSC on an overnight trip with his Cub Scout pack. Many troops/packs go to KSC yearly to meet an astronaut and camp. We were fortunate to camp underneath the Space Shuttle Atlantis. It was an experience I will not forget with him. Once we arrived that first evening, we checked in. We met with an astronaut for Q&A, had dinner, rode on the simulator ride, and then settled in for the night. The next morning we packed up and toured the rest of the facilities and had lunch. I won’t forget any of the experiences we have had with NASA.
Lens 50mm f/1.4 Prime
50mm, Exposure: varied, f/1.8, ISO: varied
We are planning to see a rocket launch soon and one is scheduled for the month of March. Our homeschool co-op group is also planning a trip to KSC soon and as of now we are attending. If you have the opportunity, please visit Kennedy Space Center or Johnson Space Center. There are other sites to see and tour so check to see what’s near you.
We’ve been by Stennis Space Center in Mississippi but didn’t get a chance to tour.