Cape Canaveral and the early days of space travel

Apollo 14 capsule.

The first thing we learnt today was that the Kennedy Space Centre and Cape Canaveral are technically different things. So we were on a tour organised through the Centre but of the Cape Canaveral Airforce Base. That meant we were not allowed to photograph a lot of things.

We had a great day looking at mementoes and sites from the early days of the space program. We stood on the launch sites and in the launch bunkers for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs.

I know that standing where the rockets took off from doesn’t necessarily sound amazing, but it actually was. These were seminal moments and the culmination of an amazing effort, as well as being hugely risky. The early rockets were really just re-purposed missiles – the equipment in the control bunkers actually described them as ‘missiles’. In the first days, all they really did was add a tiny capsule to sit a human on top of a missile and then add some parachutes for the landing.

We also saw the huge building where the rockets are constructed for launch, the sites where Space X and Boeing will launch from, and a bunch of early artefacts. Many of the early rockets are owned by the Air Force and they are doing nothing to preserve them, which is sad to see.

All together it was a classic tour for the space aficionados amongst us, and luckily we have one of those. Cal even got a SpaceX t-shirt to add to his collection.



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