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Kennedy Space Centre
Kennedy Space Centre

Kennedy Space Centre

Thursday, July 14, 2005

John F Kennedy Space Centre is America's gateway to the universe and NASA's launch headquarters. The government facility employs more than 10,000 men and women, and each day they push the limits of scientific knowledge. It's a remarkable place for visitors to explore and make their own discoveries. Celebrating the past, present and future of mankind's accomplishments, Kennedy Space Centre is part of any great Florida vacation.

Within every building and around every corner at Kennedy Space Centre, there is a story to tell about the days of early space exploration. The Mercury Program saw the selection of America's first astronauts, as well as the first manned spacecraft to orbit earth. During Project Gemini, astronauts walked and worked in space and the legendary Apollo Program eventually put 12 Americans on the moon. Space shuttles are currently transporting pieces of the International Space Station to be assembled 200 miles above earth.

Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) immerses you in the world of today's astronauts — an exciting combination of hands-on training and preparation for the rigors of spaceflight. Veteran NASA astronauts helped design the program, and you'll hear first-hand from one of them as you progress through an exciting day of mission simulation and exploration at the busiest launch facility on Earth.

As part of your ATX experience, you will take an exclusive guided tour of Kennedy Space Centre, including the International Space Station Centre and the Space Shuttle launch pads.

Your training schedule provides a range of interactive activities, from the multi-axis trainer and the 1/6 gravity chair, to operating a full-scale shuttle mock-up and taking the helm in Mission Control. You are guaranteed to move in ways you've never felt before. You will see the astronauts' accommodation — certainly not five star but extremely functional considering the space confines.

You will be given complete control of a shuttle simulator which is scarily close to the real thing. Even though shuttles are launched in Florida, the real mission control is in Houston. The moment a shuttle leaves the launch pad, it is under the command of the team in Texas.

Only 500 people have been into space, and before the shuttle, massive rockets were the mode of transport. You will see one of three remaining Saturn 5 rockets used in Apollo missions. On take-off, they produced more energy than two hundred fighter jets!

Jules met up with retired astronaut Colonel John Fabian. He has clocked up more than 300 hours in space and feels that short space flights will be available to everyone in three to five years' time. They won't be cheap — so start saving.

Location

Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Cost

The Kennedy Space Centre Astronaut Training Centre Mission costs around $300 per person. Gear and lunch are included. Check-in is 9.15am, program starts at 10am and ends 4.30-5pm.

Flight Centre has return economy airfares to Orlando, valid for sale until July 22, 2005, and valid for travel between November 1 and December 9, 2005. Prices, including taxes, are:
  • Sydney $1549
  • Melbourne $1519
  • Brisbane $1655
  • Adelaide $1655
  • Perth $1899
    To book call Flight Centre on 131 600

    Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

    More information

    Astronaut Training Experience
    Kennedy Space Centre
    Ph: 0011 1 321 449 4400
    www.ksctickets.com/atx.html
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