Thursday, 12 April 2012

Kennedy Space Centre

Hello everyone
Today was a sleep in- we only pried the kids out of bed at 7am.  You'd think that they were nearing the end of a very busy two weeks by the looks of them as we loaded the buses this morning.
It was a very quiet trip out to the Space Centre- although our bus driver did wake us up to tell us there were Manatees swimming around and then Alligators just cruising by the side of the road.  We arrived at the space centre and got our bearings and were into it.
The Imax movie about the space station was fascinating and the 3D effects in it were unreal.  The students were  into the space exploration centre and are old pros at this space simulation stuff.  Landing the lunar module on their first try.  There was also a pretty amazing art exhibition with photos of the planets including a pretty amazing one of Jupiter.
Of course the highlight of the day was the Lunch with an Astronaut- Wendy Lawrence.  She had great descriptions of what it was really like- take off is like being a six year old and having your older brother by six year sitting on your chest because you have lost at wrestling again. The adventures in zero gravity and the immense preparation that they went through to get there were amazing.  It was pretty sobering to hear her talk about being on the next flight after the Columbia incident.
We have a group photo with her that we will get framed for school.
After the lunch we went on a tour of the launch station.  The Shuttles get launched from Cape Canaveral which is called launch control-this control transfers to Houston 8 seconds into the flight.  Amazing team work again between all the different aspects of the mission. One of the exhibits did explain that the computing power in your average smart phone is more than what they launched the Apollo missions with. Because of Space Camp the relevance of the sites we visited was heightened and their understanding of the exhibits so much more than it would have been before the Space Camp experience.
Visiting the launch control centre of the Apollo missions was pretty incredible and I thought it was pretty special to watch the count down and reenactment of the take off from actually where it all happened.  Likewise looking out over the shuttle launch pad was equally special.
It's a short report tonight.

Take care everyone

The first three photos are some of our great morning faces as we set off this morning.

 You can just see the Shuttle Launch pad in the back ground.  Some of the fantastic group we are travelling with are in the foreground.
 Seth using the telescope to have a close up look at the launch site.
The actual Apollo mission control.

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