Witnessing History in the Making at Kennedy Space Center

Monday, January 17, 2011

Growing up in Titusville, FL across the river from the Kennedy Space Center,  I knew I had options of what I wanted to be when I grew up. There was the choice of an astronaut influenced by my father, an engineer. Or a ballerina like my mother.

During my childhood, I was heavily influenced by my favorite TV program, I Dream of Jeannie.  A fantasy-seeker with an imaginative mind, I knew I had to be genie! What little girl would not want to be as striking and beautiful as Barbara Eden with her perfect figure, wearing pink touille. So of course I had the exact same genie attire, and my own genie bottle where  "I would sleep" (it rested on my nightstand next to the regular person's twin bed), my hair in a pony-tail and I had the slight nod, blink of the eyes and folding of arms down pat.

Reality and my parents, however, reminded me that to enjoy a quality lifestyle meant I had to study and work hard. A greater impact was learning that nothing is impossible in the real world. So just before I graduated the 8th grade, I witnessed the first space shuttle launch. For the first time in my life, our city had a traffic jam! That's when I knew our unknown or often-poked-fun-of city name, was being watched all around the world! There was life beyond Titusville, Florida.

While my fantasy bubble bursted, there were no chards of glass to scar me. Instead, my parents often told me "anything is possible". The rockets on I Dream of Jeannie were a past history. At age 12, I was about to witness and live through a historical moment with the invention and launch of the Space Shuttle.

Today the Kennedy Space Center has come a long way in terms of a tourist destination since I was a child. I vaguely recall a couple of 1970's rockets and the display of the outfits worn by the men who stepped on the  moon--that foil -like, ballooning ski suit attire. Now both adults and children of all ages will tell you it's educationally fascinating with its tours and exhibits of space crafts and the stories behind the pioneers and astronauts. 

Hubble 3D, is a new IMAX film narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio tells the story of the Hubble Space Telescope. A new exhibit using six projections screens, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted, speculates on the future of space exploration. And a new interactive stage show Star Trek Live, combines science with entertainment using special effects, audience interaction and real space technology.

In addition, the US Astronaut Hall of Fame ahs the new Science on a Sphere exhibit, which uses animated images to take visitors around the world and through the solar system.

All the new elements are included with admission the center, which is $41 for adults and $31 for childrena ges 3-11, plus tax and includes entry to the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. The price is valid for two days' admission if taken within a wek.

So I encourage every Floridian to make the trek to the Space Coast with the family, especially children to witness the final blast of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Originally scheduled to launch November 1, the launch is delayed due to reported cracks in the external fuel tank. Engineers are working to fix it. And they will. NASA reports a launch of February 24 at the earliest. So you still have a chance to plan the trip, book the hotel, and look forward to witnessing history--how often can you say that in your lifetime? Follow the news to get a better idea of the launch. Even better, click here for more tips on launch dates, times, viewing information, hotel packages and more! Be a part of history!

NASA's first space shuttle, Columbia, rocketed into orbit April 12, 1981
 Does this mean I studied engineering or aerospace science? Not at all. My creative right brain won that tug of mental war and marketing is my passion. Hence the creation of my blogs.

Launch dates, Times and Hotel packages: http://www.spacecoastlaunches.com/
Shuttle Viewing: http://www.titusville.cm/ and http://www.spacecoastlaunches.com/

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