Igniting Wonder – Kennedy Space Center

The entrance to the space center

The entrance to the space center

While we driving north along Florida’s eastern coast, KC convinced me that we should spend a day at the Kennedy Space Center. Even though I am an engineer and appreciate most things math, science, or engineering related, I wasn’t looking forward to a day at the space center because it’s a popular Florida Family Tourist destination and I’m not a fan of lots of screaming kids running around me in a cheesy space-themed attractions.

The space launch site!

The space launch site!

It wasn’t until we took the bus tour and saw the launch site that I realized this place was different. “To your left is the launch center,” the tour guide pointed out. Here was the spot where we, as a nation, physically started to explore space. The launch pad was the beginning point of entering space beyond our planet’s atmosphere. I started to think of the history of science and engineering leading up to where we are in our Space Program and about the sense of adventure the first astronauts must have had to want to go where no one else had been before, trusting in the equipment NASA built to protect them. After the tour of the complex, the bus let us off at the Apollo/Saturn V Center, which is a museum of those missions. Learning about the extraordinary applications of science and engineering mixed with tales from the men and women who went into space sparked in me a sense of wonder. Exploring space was the ultimate combination of adventure and engineering. For the first time since college, I felt inspired by engineering to do something amazing and to go explore the world (which we are doing on this year of travel).

Inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center

Inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center

At the end of the day, I had to thank KC for dragging me to the Kennedy Space Center. Even though there were screaming kids and some cheesy space attractions, the Kennedy Space Center awakened in me a sense of wonder with engineering and re-ignited daydreaming about the future, both for this year of travel and after. It was an unexpected day of feeling like a kid again, with a world of possibilities illuminated once again.

(Note: We have planned for the future, both for where we travel next and for after the year of travel, but it has been a long time since I have sat back and dreamt about the possibilities of life.)

Below are select photographs taken around the Kennedy Space Center. You can check out more pictures on our Eastern Florida and Georgia Photo Journal Page.

The NASA Building

The NASA Building

This machine moves the rocket into place along this two mile long set of tracks

This machine moves the rocket into place along this two mile long set of tracks

A recreation of the control room for the first Apollo Missions

A re-creation of the control room for the first Apollo Missions

One of the early space suits

One of the early space suits

The Spaceship Atlantis

The Spaceship Atlantis

The underside of the Spaceship Atlantis

The underside of the Spaceship Atlantis

The return capsule from the first Apollo Mission

The return capsule from the first Apollo Mission

A model rover

A model rover

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