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Day 3, Friday, 07 November

Our motel Bikers

After twenty minutes of driving we arrived at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). We find a place easily in the car park and we go to the entrance to bring our swipe cards bought on internet (annual pass and swipe card of the convention). We queue up during twenty minutes behind a person who accompanies a group, when finally they agree on the names of all the children of the group and when comes our turn, the lady tolds us that it is necessary to go to another ticket office to get back the swipe cards of the convention (lasted 30 seconds, thank you). We get back relatively fast our swipe cardst, but to buy the annual passes it was necessary to take them from the first ticket office.

Entrance of the KSC Visitor

The annual passes are a little bit more expensive than the normal passes but they include reductions and off course they go for one year. It is what we needed because we planned to stay there a week long.
Once returned to the first ticket office we are told that the annual passes are made inside (they have to take a picture of us), it is thus necessary to go into the KSC (without badges, strange) to be photographed and had our swipe card. We thus begin to queue up to pass through the security check. Due to the size of the line I ask an employee if this what we should do. She says that annual passes must be bought from ticket offices, even annual pass. So, we return to ticket offices (another one this time) to ask for the sesame. With our new pass it is necessary to queue up to go through the security check , search, gantry… It is funny five minutes but after a week it’s borring.

So, it is 11 am, we needed 2 hours to go in there but here we are.
We go right to the building « Early Space Exploration » which shelter the convention. The room is very big, along wall are installed tables with the astronauts. In the center there are two squares made from tables, with some astronauts, but also collectors and storekeepers.

Building Convention
They are here those what we were waiting for, Fred Haise, Jim Lovell, Charlie Duke, for Charles Bolden, for Frederick Gregory, for Tom Jones (not the singer!), Jack Lousma, John McBride, Buzz Aldrin and many others else…
We go round, listen to the astronauts speaking with people, speak with the people, with some collectors, some had brought really surprising pieces (a replica of lunar shoe, a piece of the superior deck of Columbia, after renovation, …) there is also a Buran-Energia model and proton rockets !

Collectibles Buran-Energia Books

Then we are photographed with some astronauts, we speak about little with them, Didier who had brought some « Espace Magazine » (he is a writer in this magazine, Space Magazine) gives some to the Moon walkers who were amazed but very touched by the gesture.

It’s already non, we visit the building « Early Space Exploration » where is the convention. This small museum includes mainly pieces of history of the beginings of the American space conquest but not only, for example a Soyuz mock-up is hook on the ceiling in the hall. We can see the grapefruit satellite there, a Goddard rocket, a control room of the 60s. But also a Gemini capsule, a lunar jeep, space suits and even an Ariane 5.

Early Space exploration Control room Gemini


To finish the day we went to see the film IMax about the International Space Station. The takeoff of Proton (in 3D) is simply stunning! After that we went to the store (Space Shop). This shop is really impressive, on the ground floor are diverse objects and clothes, but the upper floor is more for space lovers, there are collectibles (first day envelopes, autographs), patchs of all the missions, posters and especially books and DVDs. Then we walked in the rest of the park, to wait the night to take photos of the rockets garden.

Panorama KSC

Ground floor Upstairs

Orion Spring Shuttle

Shuttle IPayload bay Death memorial

Rockets garden:

Rockets garden Footbridge Saturn 1B

F1 Engine H1 Engine J2 Engine

When going out, Blue Angels greeted the visitors by making two passages at low altitude above the KSC Visitor.

To infinity, and beyond Blue Angels Rockets garden

Some additional pictures:

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