Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rockets still launch from Kennedy Space Center

Sally Ride inspired a generation of children to make their dreams come true. The first lady astronaut helped pave the path for other women astronauts to follow in her footsteps. NASA sites like Cape Canaveral, Florida provide an opportunity for travelers to see a space agency up close.

We can't all be Sally Ride or an astronaut. However; we can see rockets blast into the sky, explore space capsules and talk with astronauts at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

My first trip to the center was in 1999. After visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando, my family decided to add a trip to Kennedy Space Center onto our itinerary. It only took an hour or so to get there and was well worth seeing. A few years later we were privileged to watch a night launch of a space shuttle from the edge of the 1 mile safety perimeter.

As we watched the bright orange glow light up the night sky, it seemed as though the blazing sun had placed itself between us and the reaches of outer space. The awe inspiring sight, shaking ground and blaring car alarms will always stay with me. I can only imagine what Sally Ride must have thought the first time she blasted into the sky.

Despite a shift in the focus of the NASA Space Program, rockets still launch from Kennedy Space Center on a regular basis. The NASA website has the full schedule online.

In my opinion, the space center is the best place to see a launch. It provides a spectacular view and an excitement among travelers that makes the air sizzle with anticipation. If you can't get into Kennedy Space Center, then the next best spot would be to watch the rocket fly over from one of the businesses in nearby Titusville.

Exactly where to be in Titusville will depend on traffic, the time of launch and other factors. If your hotel stay is here, then the desk clerk will be able to give you information. Otherwise you can inquire through the Titusville Chamber of Commerce.

You can sign up for email alerts from Kennedy Space Center. This is the best way to keep up with the launches and latest news. If you ever get the chance to go, then I hope you take it. You won't regret it. The only thing better than seeing a rocket launch is probably being on board when it lifts off. I'm sure that Sally Ride would have agreed.