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September 2019

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cairistiona7 in photo_scavenger

Space...

Since there really isn't an easy way to take a photo of the space between my ears, which was my first thought when I saw the prompt...

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I took this one this summer, looking upward inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center. The VAB was for a long time the world's largest building in terms of volume: 3,664,883 cubic meters (129,428,000 cubic feet). So an enormous space inside a building designed to put together the vehicles that take people into space.

Side note for any fellow space geeks here (Bojojoti, I'm looking at you! *g*): The VAB was closed to tours for the duration of the shuttle program, but is open again to the public for a limited time. I'm very glad we had a chance to see the inside while we could; the last time I was in that building was sometime around 1978, if I recall correctly. The nose cone you see in this photo is a mock-up of the cone/capsule that will top the new SLS rocket, which will be bigger than the Saturn 5 rocket that propelled the Apollo missions to the Moon. They're busy configuring the VAB for that program, and once it gets fully underway (I think the first test launch is planned for 2017), the VAB will once more be off-limits to us mere mortals. So if you have a chance, I highly recommend taking one or more of the Kennedy Space Center's "Up Close" tours. You really do get to see things up close... like Launch Pad 39A, where you can stand in the pit where all the flames, steam and smoke come boiling out from beneath the rockets.

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Comments

Cool pictures! And some space geekyness for you...the company that I worked for during school and when I got out built the support systems for some of the biology that went up in the shuttle. In July 1999, we also acted as PI for the mission that had the first female commander, so I spent a month in Cocoa Beach working at KSC and got to see a night launch from Banana Creek. It was one of the most profound experiences of my life.
Wow, what a thrill for you! I sooooo wish I'd been able to see a launch. We came very close a couple of times, only to have the launch postponed. *sigh* But to work on a project there... awesome!

(By the way, staying so long in Cocoa Beach, did you ever eat at Barrier Jack's? We love that little place. Not exactly healthy eating, but best beer-batter fried shrimp ever.)
It was. Our launch was postponed twice. The first time, they were 6 seconds from launch when they shut down because a sensor said there was a leak. It took a couple days before they could try again, so we had to redo everything.

There were about 12 of us down there, staying in apartments on the beach. We were getting per diem, so ended up mostly having cookouts as a group (because then we had more money for alcohol...) There are only 3 restaurants I remember; one was a vegetarian/vegan lunch place that went out of business that fall, a crab place that was in a kind of weird strip mall on the second floor, where we ate on butcher paper, and a nice place that we have a decently far drive to get to. Sadly, I do not remember any of the names.
That would be an AWESOME place to visit.
I never tire of touring it. :)
Ah! The VAB WAS closed to tours when I was there! (The Atlantis was actually up that time.) It's been a few years, but that was THE MOST AWESOME PLACE EVER. Seriously!

Cool shots.
Awesome and awe-inspiring. :) All that history... I tend to get a silly grin on my face as soon as we pull in to the parking lot. *g*
Yeah, I was bouncing around like a little kid. They had Discovery parked there and you could walk onto it... oh, the excitement!!! (I got to see Atlantis take off once, albeit all the way from Orlando -- it was STILL AMAZING, even from that distance!)
Very cool! I think the closest we ever came to seeing a shuttle "in action" was when it was on the launch pad, about 2 days before a launch that ended up delayed for a month or more--we did at least get the obligatory awkward family photo taken with it in the background. *g*

The only other time we came "close" to a shuttle in action was when it glided over southwest Missouri on the way to landing. Got to hear the twin sonic booms... that was an amazing moment.

I miss looking for it up in the night sky. *sigh* Still hunt for the ISS, but I really miss the shuttle.
Oh - neat! And very interesting, too.
It's one of those "must see" places for anyone even mildly interested in space travel. I never tire of visiting.
I wanted so badly to see a shuttle launch. It's one of my regrets that we never made it while the program was still in operation. We've only been to Florida once, and it was to visit a sister I'd only met once, and we didn't have time for a diversionary trip.

If we get to Florida again, I want to take one of those "Up Close" tours.
A sister you'd only met once--that must have been an interesting trip!

I hope you get to KSC someday. Are there discount airlines with routes between your area and Florida? We're fortunate in that there's direct flights to both from Springfield with Allegiant (which unfortunately doesn't fly routes to Florida from Kansas, but maybe there's another airline that does). Not the most luxurious way to travel, but I can put up with uncomfortable seats for a couple hours, knowing what's waiting. :)
My Secret Sister was a big surprise to my siblings and me. She called out of the blue one morning about ten years ago and said that she thought we had the same mother, and she turned out to be right! I was a year old when my mother became pregnant and gave her up for adoption at birth. I was too young to realize the loss of a sister. Strangely, I always felt as though I had missed out on an older brother, so who knows if there is one out there somewhere?

Reunions of children as adults is an interesting phenomenon. We're siblings, but we share no memories. I know that she was looking for something and hoping to find it when she discovered where she came from, but, sadly, we weren't it. She's a lovely person, but having met us, it seems she has answered her questions (or we aren't the answer).

Do you mind me asking which part of the state you live in? You don't need to be specific. I've lived in a number of locations in the state and may be familiar with your area.

We generally drive the three hours to Kansas City for air flights, so we have a nice selection there.
Strangely, I always felt as though I had missed out on an older brother, so who knows if there is one out there somewhere?

Wouldn't that be something!

She's a lovely person, but having met us, it seems she has answered her questions (or we aren't the answer).

I'm sorry it didn't work out to be the ideal, movie-esque reunion. Hopefully whatever it is she's hoping to find, she either finds it or makes peace with not finding it.

Do you mind me asking which part of the state you live in? You don't need to be specific. I've lived in a number of locations in the state and may be familiar with your area.

I don't mind at all... I was born and raised in St. Louis, but for nearly all of my adult life, I've lived in the Ozarks. For the last 26 years, we've lived in a rural area outside the city of Springfield.
I know adopted children often feel something missing from their lives, and it helps to have that background history filled in. We have a number of adopted children in my husband's side of the family, so we've observed the awkwardness of attempts to re-integrate over the years. It's a difficult situation.

I was thinking you were a Kansan from some of the things you'd said earlier. On my honeymoon, nearly 33 years ago, we went to St. Louis and ended up in the Ozarks. People wax enthusiastic about New England in the autumn, but the Ozarks are pretty spectacular that time of year, too.

Now that I know which direction you'd be coming from, on your long weekend trip, stop to see Big Brutus for me: http://www.bigbrutus.org/about.html
It's been on our list to see, but it's never worked out for us. We have been to a cute little candy-making company--Henry's Candy Company--in Dexter, Kansas, known for creating the Oh, Henry! candy bar (but that was probably three decades ago, but I see they are still in business--just call ahead to see when they are making candy). Day trips can be so fun, especially when you get off the beaten track and see some of the places tourists never go.
Nope, not a Kansan. Just a wandering Missourian who's nonetheless been in Kansas a lot and enjoys your state.

We've seen the Big Brutus sign every time we go to Wichita but haven't stopped there yet. Usually we're going there for taekwondo tournaments and only have extra time for one thing and so far it hasn't made the agenda. And now it might have to come in behind Henry's Candy Company, because CHOCOLATE!
Fascinating - just thinking of the size and scale of that building is mind-boggling.
It really is. And because it stands by itself, the sheer size can escape you because there's nothing around it to give it perspective. But something that helped was knowing that the building is so vast it has it's own weather. As in, it sometimes rains *inside* the building on really humid days. That's just...

I have no words. LOL
"Since there really isn't an easy way to take a photo of the space between my ears, which was my first thought when I saw the prompt..."
But it would have been quite a take on the prompt! :o))) The pictures from this visits are much more cool, though, and I'm really envious for you to have been there.
But it would have been quite a take on the prompt! :o)))

I sooooo wish I could have figured out a way to do that. LOL At least I had a fun alternative!
Ooh... that's magnificent...
Thank you! It's an astonishingly large and impressive place. And to get so close to the launch pad was an unexpected treat.