An out-of-this-world day out: Kennedy Space Center
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“The first time I went into space..” can’t be beaten as a conversation opener. This was how my chat with J.R. Reilly, a real-life NASA astronaut, began on meeting him a few months back at Wembley Stadium where he was promoting the attractions at Kennedy Space Center. Offering just a slight glimpse of the awesome experiences Jim told us of, visiting became a top priority from that day on. So, finding myself in Florida earlier this month, I made a beeline for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the tourist attraction that takes you into the NASA experience. “Experience” is at the heart of this space-related tourist spot as it gives you a glimpse of what it was like to be part of some of the greatest feats of human endeavour. My own whistle-stop tour only gave me a glimpse of what was on offer, but it took in real rockets, real astronaut heroes, real working space flight operations, and NASA’s real Atlantis orbiter. It may not have the scale and hype (or cartoon mice) of some of the other nearby Florida attractions but Kennedy has something monumentally ‘epic’ about it. With more than 1 million visitors a year, the redevelopment that has been ongoing since 1995 has paid off. When you consider the scale of the human achievement that was reached there it is hard not to feel how special it is as a site. Simply the size of the site highlights the scale of the achievement. It might not sound that exciting to take a bus tour around the launch sites and buildings but with expert guides giving you the lowdown of what happened (and happens) there it is hard not to feel a little emotional about where you are.
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