Robyn and Marion’s dad flew in to add his condolences and comfort.
Because Marion and her husband, Bill, had really enjoyed each other’s company and had really felt fulfilled by their work, his loss was quite substantial. But Marion spent her effort and time voicing and picturing all the fun times and accomplishments that involved Bill. The memorial event was billed as a “Celebration of Bill’s Life”, and the tone was very upbeat. He had been a #1 kidder, and everyone had a story to share!
So, hey, as long as we’re all here….let’s do some sightseeing. It’s the 50th anniversary of the establishment of NASA, and since the Kennedy Space Center was only about 30 miles away, Dad and I decided to go do a tour. Not just any tour….they’re doing special ones clear into the huge Vehicle Assembly Building because no projects are active there for the first time since it was built.
As we entered, lo and behold….a familiar nose poked around a corner: the Endeavor shuttle was sitting inside! Our visit occurred just days before Endeavor was flown piggy-back to its final resting place in LA. It was in the VAB for safekeeping until the flight! We could almost touch the nose….
Still, our tour was heavily managed, and we never got a good chance to shoot photos of the building. In the shot of the one shuttle launch pad (there are two, but the other is nearly dismantled), the VAB is way in the background on the right….3 miles in the background, still quite visible due to its size (fourth largest building by volume in the world).
There is a separate building devoted to the Apollo spaceships and the Saturn rockets that sent them into orbit. I’m standing under the five engines that power the first stage. We think, “wow, that’s an amazing rocket!” But wait, there’s more. Stage two has five more! Stage three has another! The space capsule has yet another, smaller engine.
We toured through the original control room, which was set up with its computers and large monitors all synchronized to show an actual launch. It was too dark to shoot without a tripod, sorry.
Fabulous day of discovery for us. Wish you were there.