Kennedy Space center

Space Shuttle Launch Complex LC-39A

We had a great day at Kennedy Space Center.  We left Teddy behind and arrived at the Center at 10:00 am.  We could have brought Teddy with us and put him in the air conditioned kennels at the Space Center but frankly, we just never thought of doing that.  He was likely more comfortable in familiar surroundings anyway.  We got the senior rate for two basic tour tickets which set us back about $85.00.  We wanted to go for a higher grade of ticket which included a tour of the Vehicle Assembly Building but we would have had to wait until 4:00 pm for our two and a half hour tour to start.  That wouldn’t have got us back at Phaeton Place until almost 7:30 pm which was far too long to leave Teddy alone.  Unfortunately, we picked one of the busier days at Kennedy Space Center but we had fun and really enjoyed the tour.

Vehicle Assembly Building

We joined a bus tour out to the launch control area for our first stop.  We waited about ten minutes for the bus which took us out to a tower from where I took today’s first photo of the launch control complex used to put the space shuttle and other rockets into space.  I think they told us that spectators of shuttle launches can’t get any closer than three miles from the launch control area.  We’ve always wanted to see a launch but it may be too late now except for smaller rocket launches.  We then boarded the bus again for a trip to the Saturn Five rocket complex.  We drove past the Vehicle Assembly Buidling and I grabbed the above shot from the window of our bus.  Not too bad considering we were moving and I had to wing it.

Saturn Five Rocket Engines

Saturn Five Module

We had a great wander around the Saturn Five rocket complex and also grabbed some lunch at the Moon Rock Cafe.  We both enjoyed a small bowl of soup, a wrap and drink for a reasonable price.  After lunch Chris spent some time in the gift shop while I scoped out a few more photos.  I even tried a little HDR to bring out the details in the roof rafters.  I carried both my Canon cameras with me today.  My 1D Mk IV had the 24-105mm lens with a circular polarizer filter on it.  The 5D Mk II had the 17-40mm wide angle on it.  The wide angle came in handy inside the buildings.  I also wore my photo vest which gave me plenty of pockets for accessories including money and credit cards instead of wearing my pouch.  It was blistering hot out in the sun but I felt quite comfortable in my vest.

Space Mission

Man On Moon

Our last stop was at the IMAX theatre where we watched a great 45 minute 3D presentation on the Hubble Telescope narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.  The movie showed the construction of the telescope, it’s launch into space on the space shuttle and also how astronauts repaired a warped mirror on the Hubble which impaired it’s vision.  Pretty neat how NASA managed to repair the telescope instead of scrapping it.  There was also another 3D IMAX presentation on the Space Station narrated by Tom Cruise but it was getting late so we decided to leave that movie for another time and get back to release the prisoner from the confines of Phaeton Place.  We got back to The Great Outdoors before 4:00 pm and Teddy was waiting for us as soon as we opened the door.  He really is a great little guy to come home to.

Saturn Five Rocket Engines

We had a wonderful day at Kennedy Space Center and hope to return again one day.  It is definitely a must see attraction.


  1. Erin April 6, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    We came oh so close to seeing a nighttime launch sometime back in the 90s … it got scrapped at the last moment. Would have been spectacular.

    • Mark April 7, 2012 at 6:31 am #

      Hoping we’ll get to see a launch next winter when we’ll be back in Florida. Have you guys decided where you’ll spend your first winter as full timers?

  2. Marsha April 5, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    We have had the opportunity to visit there but we have been to the Center outside Houston. So very interesting. Hope we can get this program back. I just marvel at how they can launch these space ships. We also watched a similar movie…soooooo wonderful. Enjoy your day.

    • Mark April 5, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

      There is apparently a launch scheduled for April 30th. Smaller rocket with supplies for the space station I believe.

  3. John & Linda Huber April 4, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    I’m interested in what vest you wear. I’ve been looking for one for my cameras and traveling. Also, do you have a recomendation on a good camera strap?

    • Mark April 5, 2012 at 6:01 am #

      Hi John,

      I use the Domke Photogs vest and really like it. It will be coming to England with me too. Lots of pockets and very comfortable without being too hot or confining.

      I’m still looking for a good camera strap and think I’ll be ordering the RS DR-1 from Black Rapid soon. Great reviews and you can carry two cameras at once or also split the strap when only carrying one camera.

      Both items are available online from B&H Photo or Adorama.