The Kennedy Space Center is an amazing place to visit. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the men and women who dedicate their careers to space exploration. We purchased ANNUAL Passes. This turned out to be the best for us. If you want to see this place and you have more than a day to spend, by all means get annual passes. I purchased the tickets online and picked them up at the will call window. No standing in line at the ticket window at the gate. Plus, Parking alone is $10.00 for each day. $50.00 for a ticket for the day. So for $63.00 we have unlimited entry, Free parking each day, and 10% off food and items in their gift shop. Now it’s true you might not come back in a years time but we actually visited 5 different days, fitting those visits in between other activities on Merritt Island. Which meant we didn’t have to rush through the exhibits to see everything. The two IMAX movies are great and they are over an hour each. There is a bus tour out to the launch field, the Shuttle experience, a presentation by an astronaut and the many exhibits would take way more than a day to see. Not to mention you would be so tired from walking all day. We camped at the Moose Lodge on Merritt Island and it was great. The lodge is huge, good food and cheap cocktails. There were about 10 or 12 RV sites all on grass with water and electric.
The “Astronaut Encounter” was fascinating. The speaker during the week we were there was Brazilian Astronaut, Marcos Pontes. He told his whole life story from the time he was a child through his years as an Astronaut working on the Space Station project. To me this was the best part of my visit. His photographs and his presentation was excellent. Below is a picture of him on stage that day, its not great because flash photography was not allowed.
In addition to the displays and presentations at the Space Center, your admission ticket includes a visit to the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame. This facility is located in Titusville I quickly learned how much of the history of the space race I had forgotten. The many astronauts and what type of space vehicle they flew, when they flew, how they landed. I seemed to have only the tragedies clear in my mind. So now I have renewed my knowledge of this history from Sputnik to the final flight of the Shuttle and how important these projects are.
Since I am always looking for wildlife and other things to photograph, we took a trip through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. I got a few shots one evening but the best photos of the birds were at the Viera Wetlands near Melbourne Florida. This is a water reclamation area and much of the time you can simply stay in your vehicle and drive around the levies viewing all types of waterfowl and other critters. It was so great we made 5 trips out there from Merritt Island which is about 19 miles one way. It was so worth it. Here are a few of my photographs.
In addition to birds I captured a few photos of a raccoon family. As my photography skills improve, I’m sure I will look back on these photos and feel they were pretty ordinary, but for now they give my incentive to continue practicing my skills.