The last time we visited Kennedy Space Center it was a little depressing. The wound was still fresh from the closed shuttle program and America’s place in the space race seemed uncertain. Had we forgotten our past glory or had we just given up? I don’t think anyone really knew for certain the space program’s direction. We only knew the greatest fleet of space vehicles ever designed was permanently grounded and headed for museums. Our new path to space required going to another country and hitching a ride. It seemed like we had only the past to be proud of and perhaps our best days were behind us.
What a difference a year and a half make. I feel like there was a renewed sense of priority in the area and the upcoming Space Launch System (SLS) is going to take us further than we’ve ever been before. It was and always is humbling to see NASA’s accomplishments but this visit made the future feel the same way. Maybe it was seeing Atlantis in all her glory, maybe it was seeing the updates starting to take shape on the VAB or maybe it was standing on the launch pad that had sent so many great missions into space. Or maybe more than anything it was hearing that VAB was about to close because new rockets more powerful than the world had ever seen were about to roll out of those large hanger doors. Yes – I’m glad I got to see inside that large building but feel better knowing it is about to become the workspace it was designed to be. So the first round of pictures of the park and of Atlantis – more coming soon of the VAB and 39A. And yes – I do believe “the adventure has only begun” and am really excited about what happens next.