05/03/2000: Orlando, Florida

The conference ended a little early, so I high-tailed it over to the Kennedy Space Center. The tours were closed, but I was able to hang out in the museums for a few hours. They have lots of full-sized models of various ships around in what is called the "rocket garden". Heck, some of them (if not all) are probably the real thing...

Below is the memorial to fallen astronauts. Around 15 or so people are listed on the memorial. Behind this giant "screen" is a contraption that catches sunlight and illuminates the names. Around the memorial is a lagoon, which you may be proud to know is infested with a wide array of large turtles... oh, and an alligator or two (in fact, they are wild animals -- they aren't caged in!).

At the site is a life-sized model of the Space Shuttle -- the Space Shuttle "Explorer". You can go inside and see the insanely tight space our astronauts have to live in for weeks at a time. I was (and still am) amazed at how small the space shuttle really is. I tried to take a few pictures of it, but thanks to a back-light, they all turned out pretty crappy. But what the hell, enjoy them anyways!

(this next picture actually turned out pretty good)

And the rocket boosters for the space shuttle...

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