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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
I touched the Moon 
20th-Jul-2009 06:22 pm
GreenAsAThumb



Almost 11 years ago, on July 17, 1998, I touched the Moon. That is, I touched a Moon rock on display at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It felt like a rock. But it was an out-of-this-world experience.

I visited with my grandmother, and I recommend the site. The Kennedy Space Center is sort of a cross between a good museum and a well-planned factory tour. The main visitor complex and other visitor centers have a lot of original artifacts on display, like a real Apollo Saturn V rocket, which is huge, and you can get close.

Visitors are also taken to the LC 39 Observation Gantry to view the launch pads. Above is my photo of LC 39A, where Apollo 11 took off. The observation gantry is obviously far away, which they explain is a safety precaution. During a launch, a rocket might blow up, so you don't want to be close.

The center is in the middle of a wildlife refuge marsh, so you might see alligators, eagles, and other animals on your visit. It's also a working space center, so you might see NASA staff scurrying around.

By the way, it's nicely wheelchair accessible.

My trip inspired a short story, "Aliens Love Oranges." Listen to it here:
http://escapepod.org/2005/12/01/ep030-aliens-love-oranges/

I was touched by the Space Mirror Memorial, built of polished black granite with the names of 24 astronauts etched through it. The mirror reflects the sky to which they aspired, and their names glow within the reflected sky. My photo below, and a link:
http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/astronaut-memorial.aspx

— Sue Burke

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