Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cape Kennedy Museum Stop

During a recent trip to Orlando, my wife and I made the short trip over to Cape Kennedy to tour the facility.  For a kid that grew up in the tail end of the space race, this was a tremendous adventure. 

The photo of the rocket garden above (with the massive Saturn V engine in the middle) was the best part of the trip, and within that area, there we two things that had me awed.  The first being the Saturn V itself.  Massive in size, it is breathtaking to see how small the capsule is in comparison to the rest of the vehicle.  Literally, it's 95% fuel and engines.  Here's a shot of about the top 2/3 of the vehicle:



The other thing that had me awed was the walkway that was used for Apollo 11.  To walk across the same path as those brave pioneers to the awaiting capsule made me feel part of history.  Kudos to the curators for saving such a unique piece of our history:



The bad news on all of this is that the Cape's museum is in bad disrepair.  It is not run by the government, and there were parts that were quite embarrassing.  Here's a shot of a close up of the Saturn V capsule and escape rocket with rust (rust!) quite noticeable at the bottom:



For something that should have been such a great source of national pride, I came away from my experience there with some sheepish embarrassment.  What a horrible shame.

As we closed out our trip, I was able to catch a shot of some hot air balloons that were launching in our area.  While the other end of the aeronautical spectrum, they inspired awe in their own respect.  It was a nice way to close out a fun and productive trip.

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