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Pictures taken on 05/15/11

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James is excited to drive out to KSC
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Some "real Florida" outside of touristy Orlando
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Kenney Space Center! Let's go!
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Cool sign
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Inspiration!
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It's actually just a big model of a shuttle, but it's still cool!
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Just six more miles!
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Ahh! It's the Vehicle Assembly Building! That's where they put the rockets together!
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We're here! The Kennedy Space Center!
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The Rocket Garden! Unfortunately, I never got a chance to go look again, so this is the only picture I have!
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We immediately jumped on the bus tour
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NASA!
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Oh man, only one day left!
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As we pulled around the corner and I saw the VAB down the road, a chill went down my spine
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It's the VAB!! The American flag is 22 stories tall!
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I believe this is the equipment they use to move the external tank around
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The Saturn Causeway! This is the road the Saturn V and Space Shuttle travel down to the launch pad!
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It's the space shuttle!! Endeavour! An actual shuttle on the pad!
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The crawler! They've been using this platform since the 60s!
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Each tread link weighs a couple thousand pounds!
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Crawlerrr
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SPACE dots??
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Boeing's Delta launch pad
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SpaceX's launch pad. The Falcon 9 launches from here!
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An Air Force launch facility
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I believe this is the Lockheed launch pad
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And of course, the big one, Launch Complex 39-A with Space Shuttle Endeavour primed for her final voyage
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It was surreal to finally see it
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Space Shuttle Endeavour, mostly concealed by the rotating service structure (RSS)
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Launch complex 39-B, the alternate shuttle launch site, now being reworked for a new generation of launch vehicles
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A wider shot of 39-A
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Wider still
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There was some serious photographic hardware at the viewing platform
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The shuttle and me! I'm finally here!
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The crawler with the VAB and some unidentified vertical structure
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Those doors are tall enough to allow a Saturn V to pass under. Over 300 feet tall!
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Giant crawler treads
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This guy had a ridiculously huge lens
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Looking down at a space shuttle main engine they had on display
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James checks his phone with Endeavour in the background
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The guts of the space shuttle main engine. It's incredible that something complex can work so reliably
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The SSME in all its glory
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This is about the closest I will ever get to the space shuttle (before they're in museums)
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Pegasus, the barge they use to deliver the space shuttle external tanks
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The countdown clock! This was the best angle I could get from the bus though
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I like the artwork on the water tower!
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The Orbiter Processing Facility! This is really the closest I'll get to a shuttle, but it's inside so it doesn't count!
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Next up, the Saturn V center!
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Hell yeah, we do!
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I was told that these were the actual consoles mission control used during the Apollo era but I don't believe them since they've all been modified
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They reenacted the Apollo 11 landing
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The status board!
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I'm not sure why they felt the need to add all these fake video screens..
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The business end of a Saturn V. The most powerful rocket ever built
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Looking down the immense Saturn V rocket
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Five F-1 engines. Unimaginable power
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Me standing under the end of the Saturn V rocket
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Each F-1 engine bell is larger than an entire Mercury capsule
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James contemplates large rockets
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You can see the cooling rings wrapped around the exterior
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So many little pieces
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J-2 engines! The power behind the Saturn V's second stage
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The back of the second stage of the Saturn V
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The rocket is still ridiculously huge even if you don't count the first stage
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The actual command module from Apollo 14
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I believe this flight plan is from Apollo 17
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Apollo flight plans
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Actual flight plans from Apollo
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The door to Kittyhawk, the Apollo 14 command module
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Last time I was here I managed to touch the heat shield on this vehicle by jamming my fingers through the plastic shielding.. not this tmie
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A moon rock!
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Various Apollo hardware
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Alan Shepard's actual lunar EVA suit
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The third stage of the Saturn V, using a single J-2 engine
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Gene Cernan's lunar EVA suit
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The suit of the last man to walk on the moon
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The last boots to walk on the moon.. for now
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This is an actual Lunar Module, LM-9. It was never flown since it was replaced by the more robust modules for the J missions
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Inside a lunar module
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James near the front of the Saturn V
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The command module of the Saturn V
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Looking down from the front of the Saturn V
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Outside the Saturn V center, we could see the shuttle launch pad. You can't really see it here due to all the launchpad structure in the way, but look carefully and you can see the orange external tank through the launchpad
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The VAB from another angle
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A bald eagle nest! It's been there for almost 40 years, weighs 700 pounds, and is big enough to lie down on!
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Palm trees!
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Recreating a shot I took seven years ago
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James kept taking pictures as I walked back to reclaim my camera
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Me in front of Explorer! A one to one scale model of the space shuttle orbiter
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The external tank and solid rocket boosters are simply massive
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The rear of Exporer
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Explorer! Not really a shuttle, but it's still amazing to walk around
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The shuttle launch facility was amazing! I liked it even more than Mission: SPACE!
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The underbelly of Explorer, with a replica of the thermal protection system
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Inside a weird little "current mission" building
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Details on the upcoming mission!
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A plaque at the Space Mirror
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A sobering reminder of the cost of human spacefilght
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The T-38, a jet astronauts use to practice shuttle landings
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Me with a few of my fake astronaut buddies
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James poses with his hand and.. NASA itself..
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A mockup of the Orion capsule
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Ten bucks says Orion never flies
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A space tree! The seed that this tree came from was flown to the moon and back on Apollo 14!
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The A. Max Brewer Memorial Parkway, the bridge we camped out on to watch the launch
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The view of the launch pad from our vantage point on top of the bridge
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The VAB is looking good in the sunset
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Zoomed out a little more so you can see the launchpad (on the left) and the VAB on the right
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Zoomed a little more out. This is more or less what it looked like to the unaided eye.
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Believe it or not, we weren't the first group on the bridge. These people had been camping out all day!
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James tests out the binoculars
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A beautiful Florida sunset
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James waits for a long night as the VAB sits in the distance
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A destination from an earlier time
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At this point, the bridge was still empty
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A 120 second exposure of thet launch pad and VAB. The bright spotlights on the shuttle really light up the sky
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