Off to Cape Canaveral!

Today is my day trip to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center!

I had been here many years ago. how things have changed! I did enjoy the Rocket Park.

I thought the Soviet era Soyuz was pretty interesting.

And I thought the American astronauts were brave.

I bet the first cosmonauts who looked at this stuff on the outside just shrugged as thought….

… "Hey… what could go wrong?"


Imagine jamming yourself into a VW Beatle, sitting it on top of a stick of dynamite 36 stories tall, and telling them to light the fuse.

And once you were up there, staying up there in the VW fully dressed in all sorts of stuff for days.

With less computing power than my mobile phone.

Mission control has less computing power than my mobile phone.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. chironomo says:

    What a fun place! I used to live a few miles south of there (Palm Bay) but now am on the other coast of Florida. In your Rocket Park picture the rocket to the left (with stripes) is the Mercury- Redstone – the type that took Alan Shepard up in ’61, if I remember correctly the one on display is #4 that was never flown. I was always intrigued that it was a very slightly mofified ICBM…meaning that the payload couldn’t be much larger than a warhead!

  2. robtbrown says:

    I loved Rocket Garden but was stunned to see how small the space shuttle was. A month in it would not be fun.

  3. robtbrown says:

    BTW, spent about 30 minutes with a man, Ken Collins, a few years ago who had flown the Blackbird. He had some serious stories.

  4. mrsmontoya says:

    Enjoy, Fr. Z, and I hope you are well enough! I visited there in October 1992, one month exactly after my wedding. It was a business trip and I had to leave my DH at home, so I will never forget it.

  5. mrsmontoya: I had to leave my DH at home

    I guess it must be a National League park.

  6. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Imagine a week-long camping trip where you are stuck in the tent all day & can’t shower. That pretty much describes the Apollo mission.

    Less computing power than a digital watch, too.

  7. iudicame says:

    But Mother! But Mother! I go to Cape Kennedy and all I get is this lousy T-shirt? Not even Pop-Rocks? Astronaut pesto in a tube?…


  8. Athelstan says:

    “With less computing power than my mobile phone. ”

    The IBM 7090 computer had…32k of RAM. After Apollo I they upgraded to the most powerful computer available – the IBM 360 with an unheard of 1MB of RAM.

    I’ve run out of electronic devices to compare which have anything like that little memory. And they went to the moon and back with that! Brave men, indeed.

  9. dimsum says:

    Glad to see that you are enjoying your visit here in Florida. Hope you can make it to the Miami in the near future.

  10. Margaret says:

    Father– if your schedule allows, the Spanish Quarter up in St. Augustine is well worth a trip. DH & I brought the kids for an “educational” field trip, but we learned quite a bit ourselves, and the living history tour guides were quite enthusiastic.

  11. MarkJ says:

    I went to the Kennedy Space Center with my family on November 12 – it was the first time for all of us. I’m just old enough to remember all the US manned spaceflights starting with Alan Shepherd, and especially Apollo 11 and the first moon landing. Seeing a real, built-for-flight Saturn V rocket at Kennedy Space Center was almost a religious experience for me. What a thrill! And how exciting to relive some of the glory days of US space travel. Although those days are gone, a greater thrill awaits each of us at Mass! I am so happy to be able to experience and be immersed in a truly living link to the past – not to an artifact of the 1960’s, but to the entire 2000 years of Tradition which are so beautifully encapsulated and brought to life in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. The Saturn V lifted a few men to the Moon, but the Mass can lift a soul all the way to Heaven!

  12. Speaking of minimal computing power…didn’t they use slide rules to bring home the Apollo 13 astronauts?

  13. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    The part that amazed me when we went over the summer (we are just to the north, in Jacksonville) was the massive size of the Apollo Rocket they have disassembled in the one building(where the food is). I have grown up seeing rockets racing through the sky at launches, an have seen the pictures of them landing or being flown on the back of 747s, and when you compare the Apollo to something that size, its amazing.

  14. megn says:

    I am not sure which is more worrisome (and at the same time hilarious): that mission control had less power than a mobile phone or that a mobile phone could launch a rocket.

  15. chironomo says:


    I was 9 years old when I first visited KSC…the Skylab Launcher was on the pad to be launched the next day (we watched it go up too!). The Shuttle looks like a model rocket by comparison. The Saturn V was an immense craft….more than twice the height of the shuttle and incredibly more powerful. I recall that the fuel burn rate on the Saturn V was 15 tons/sec at launch. Wow…

  16. irishgirl says:

    How cool that you got to see these exhibits, Fr. Z!

    Yeah-it’s amazing how the astronauts endured during being stuck in such small spaces for long periods of time!

    Rob-your comparison of a camping trip and not being able to shower with the Apollo moon missions was hilarious! Probably pretty ‘stinky’, but hilarious…

  17. Stellar that you enjoyed your visit and you hit the nail spot on about the bravery of those astronauts going on a dangerous mission with primitive technology. Do we dare to say there are no atheists in space either?

    I remember the flight of Alan Shepard and the tension when the Soviets put Yuri Gagarin in space first. Oh yes, we remember bomb shelters too. The there was John Glenn, America’s Boy Scout and the tragedy of the Apollo 1 accident in which Chaffee, Grissom, and White died. Admittedly we also watched the original Star Trek and remember fondly the first human steps on the moon.

    Having been to KSC and Cape Canaveral many times over the years it is always a worthwhile visit.

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