Today our group had a fun day at the Kennedy Space Center. We started out on a bus at 7:30 am and shipped off toward our destination with a large group of other VIPs. When we first arrived, we were all herded into a small auditorium and went around the room introducing ourselves and talking about why we were here. We then watched a short slideshow about the mission of STS-130 and heard about the experiments that would be on board.
Next, we piled back onto the buses and went to the ISS visitor center where we learned about the station and how it works. The next building we toured was the VAB(vehicle assembly building). This 36 story building can be seen from many miles away and was even more impressive in person. Here, we got to see the bell of a shuttle engine and the areas where the shuttle, SRBs and ET are all put together. We also caught a glimpse of the back up set of SRBs and ET that is ready to go incase of an emergency.
After touring the VAB, we hopped back on the bus and drove past the landing strip where the shuttle will glide to safety after its 13-day mission. Along the way to the Visitor’s Complex, we also saw a few alligators along the side of the road! Once we arrived at the Visitor’s Complex, we took a ride on the launch simulator and at lunch at the Orbit Café. Then we took a few minutes at the largest space store in the world and caught the bus to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. After a speedy run at the Hall, our tired group of girls came back to the hotel and ordered in pizza. It was a long, fun and educational day, but we can’t wait to see the launch tomorrow morning, bright and early!