Titusville, Florida is home to the Kennedy Space Center. Every manned space mission since the very first one in May of 1961 was launched from this sight. It is best known for its Apollo and Shuttle missions, and it serves as a public education facility, entertaining and educating more than 1.5 million visitors per year. The Kennedy Space Center is the very heart of Florida’s Space Coast.
It is very easy to spend a half day, or more visiting this massive complex. Our journey began as we stepped onto one of the many tour buses ready to take visitors up close to buildings where rockets are actually constructed and then transported by giant caterpillars across the complex to a launch pad where they will be lifted by tons of explosives into outer space; many with human beings on board. It seems impossible, as does most of what happens here.
Unlike another magical place just a few miles away in Orlando, this place is real. There are some similarities though, like genius, imagination, innovation, curiosity and sacrifice among the folks that make space exploration possible. Witnessing the dramatic unveiling of the space shuttle Atlantis, walking through a solemn tribute to the crew of the Challenger and seeing the actual space suit worn by Neil Armstrong when he walked on the moon fills you with an unparalleled sense of pride and hope for our nation. We did this and we are better because we dreamed we could.
My contribution to Norm’s Thursday Door challenge is a tribute to all men and women who envision a path of possibilities and to all who value and support their dream. Below is the Kitty Hawk, the Command Module for Apollo 14. On February 9, 1971 three men exited this door, shortly after splashing down in the middle of the South Pacific. The astronauts who rode back to earth in this capsule had spent nine days in space, with two entirely on the surface of the Moon. It was not the first walk on the moon and hopefully will not be the last, but it happened – in 1971.
When we dare to dream and fear no door, anything is possible.
To learn more about NASA, the Kennedy Space Center, the permanently manned International Space Station and current missions click here. Follow NASA on Instagram and be amazed.