Kennedy Space Center: Worth the Hype?

So a few months back – me thinks December to be more exact-ish, a fine Irish chap by the name of Brian contacted me to see if I would be on his podcast. Not one to ever say no to anything with an Irish accent, I graciously accepted. However, before the podcast, Brian said, in that enchanting Irish twang that we Americans love so much:

Now Turner, first, top of the morning to you.

Actually, he didn’t really say that, but he should have, he is Irish after all, and I live by false stereotypes.

Now Turner, before we begin the podcast, I must ask you an important question that will determine the future of our relationship. Would you rather go into Space or would you rather visit Jurassic Park if it existed?

Ah, are we talking space as we know it now or more of like a futuristic Star Wars scenario?

Space as it is now.

Oh most definitely Jurassic Park.

So why do I mention this seemingly pointless conversational diatribe? Well – it is to say that I was oh so very wrong. Space, its exploration, and anything that involves dressing up animals in cute astronaut outfits is totally money. I didn’t appreciate the gravity of the importance and how fascinating our space program is until I visited the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. From the Cold War’s space race with the mustache twirling evil Soviets to the new discoveries like finding water on distant moons and planets that give us hope that our species will survive after we are hit the environmental tipping point of no return.  I reckon when China develops a flavor for SUV driving. Regardless, visiting the Kennedy Space Center is a very unique travel location and experience. Where else can you go see launch pads and a one of the actual space shuttles? So without further blathering on my part, here are some visuals on what you can see. The ticket price, $53 is a bit on the pricey side, but it is really worth it.

Boom - NASA

Boom – NASA

kennedy space center

Rocket Garden

Rocket Garden

us rocket

rockets kennedy space center

visiting usa space center

So to be fair, I didn’t know a whole lot about US space exploration before visiting the Kennedy Space Center. I was born in 1984, so I missed out on the space race and communist mania that was going around, but when you get into the space center, you quickly discover how amazing it is that NASA and the space program went from nothing, to Kennedy bolding claiming we would put a man on the moon in 10 years. Ballsy guy. I like that.

Respect Carl, respect.

Respect Carl, respect.

When I first arrived inside the center and took a quick look around, my initial reaction was “Oh great, a bunch of model rockets and a couple of walk through photo galleries…”, however, I was very wrong once again. Many of the rockets were the ones that were actually used on the missions. Oh yeah, and they also had the actual Atlantis Space shuttle. Boom.

usa space shuttle

IMG_9514

atlantis space shuttle

astronaut

american space shuttle

the International Space Station

the International Space Station

And how I can forget…ground control.

IMG_9524

mission control

IMG_9516

rocket

rocket thrusters

shuttle atlantis

So in the end, I would say check out some flights to Orlando, and get over to the Kennedy Space Center – the experience is out of this world.

 

Turner barr
turnerbarr@gmail.com

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

4 Comments
  • Yvette
    Posted at 02:40h, 16 April

    Hey I went there a few days before Christmas- they had the NASA Christmas ornaments out. And kinda obligatory if you’re an astronomy geek visiting your brother in Florida. 🙂

    One of the biggest things we noticed while there is how on the bus ride part the driver you get can *really* make or break the experience- our first guy was so boring he put people to sleep, second driver was really engaging and entertaining, unfortunately no way to know who you’ll get I think. And beyond the rockets, I really appreciated going there and getting a sense of scale of the place- you truly need a few miles between all the sites for a reason.

    Cheers!

  • Rashad Pharaon
    Posted at 02:06h, 28 April

    Thanks for the tour and a visit down memory lane! Haven’t been since I was a kid and the most interesting thing about the Space Center was those tiny futuristic “ice cream balls” that melted on your tongue. Looks like I need to re-visit asap. (:

  • Messi
    Posted at 10:39h, 28 April

    Amazing,I am chinese,welcome to China.

  • Caroline M.A Otieno
    Posted at 11:48h, 01 May

    Hi Turner,

    Love this story, well, as well as your travel round the world in 80 jobs..I find that quite brave and admirable..something. I’d love to do, but so frightened of uncertainty..I would love to visit NASA when I do get to visit the U.S..thankfully, this post will act as a guideline.