NASA Trip–Space Shuttle Atlantis

Countdown: the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon!

Hon, this is the perfect week to show you what my daughter’s Space Exploration team did at the Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex in Florida. Lucky me, I got to chaperone, learn alongside the students, and watch a rocket launch! Woohoo!

Shout out to Mr. John Yi, the high school’s Space Ex teacher, and Jamie Semple and Arianna Moore, NASA’s App Development Challenge Team who work in the Office of STEM Engagement at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and who put together the entire itinerary.

My daughter asked, “They planned all of this just for us?” Yup, they did.

(space post photos are a combo of mine and those put together by the group)

Here’s what the KSCVC site says about the Space Shuttle Atlantis, “a space shuttle launched like a rocket and landed like a glider.” 

You can’t miss the entrance to the home of space shuttle Atlantis: a mighty full-scale space shuttle stack of two solid rocket boosters and orange external tank. Inside, Atlantis is displayed as only astronauts have seen her in space, rotated 43.21 degrees with payload doors open and Canadarm extended, as if just undocked from the International Space Station (ISS). One of three space-flown shuttles displayed in the United States, Space Shuttle Atlantis® showcases the orbiter spacecraft and tells the story of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program.

In addition to marveling at the size of the Atlantis, visitors can “train like an astronaut in the essential functions of space shuttle flight with high-tech simulators,” experience a space shuttle launch simulation, and visit tributes to “the 14 brave astronauts who perished during the loss of orbiters Challenger and Columbia.”

Deployed in 1990 and orbiting 340 miles above the Earth’s surface, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) debut was delayed when it was discovered the optic mirror did not work. Watch how dedicated astronauts fought to save the telescope over the course of five grueling service missions. Learn how Hubble has answered some of the most basic questions about the universe and is still operating in space more than 25 years later. Including an exact replica of the telescope suspended between two stories of the Space Shuttle Atlantis® attraction, HST Theater also allows a close-up look at the configuration of Hubble and its solar arrays.