A Journal, with Pictures

COPA Saturday Kennedy Space Center Fly-In

by on Mar.09, 2014, under Flying

Saturday at 8:30 the bus left for the Space Center and those that came in Saturday were picked up separately to meet the group. We entered the visitor area and started to explore on our own. The first thing you come to is the early space exploration exhibit and the rocket garden. One of our attendees tried the Mercury capsule on for size, very tight fit. On our way to the IMAX Hubble 3D movie we saw next generation space vehicle the Orion. The IMAX experience was the best ever for us.

Kennedy Space Center

Entrance photoRocket GardenMore RocketsMercury Capsuel SizeNext Gen vehicle


After the IMAX film it was time to board the private COPA tour of the Shuttle launch pad. On the way we past the VAB, Vehicle Assembly Building, which is huge and being prepared for the next generation vehicle delivery system. We viewed the Shuttle launch pad from all sides and up close in the blast trench, it is big and impressive.

Line up for launch pad tourVABShuttle Launch PadViewing the launch padViewing the blast trenchBIG!


The Launch Pad tour ended at the Saturn V/Apollo exhibit. The exhibit starts with a film of the period leading to the race for space ending with the moon landing. We then went to the moon launch control room and the launch was reenacted. We then viewed the exhibit, again the size of the Saturn V is staggering and the exhibits numerous.

Intro film Apollo Saturn V ExhibitSaturn first stage engines HUGESaturn FiveViewing the exhibitsCOPA father and son Command module


After the Saturn/Apollo exhibit we returned to the visitor center and most went to the Space Shuttle exhibit. It started with a film about the project and all of the engineering challenges and ends with a second film of the first launch. As the film ends the screen dissolves into a close up of the Atlantis and disappears and there is the shuttle Atlantis, very dramatic. Again a very extensive exhibit. After the Shuttle exhibit there was a little time to wander and explore. We still just scratched the surface but we were starting to run out of gas and we headed for the waiting bus. Some, not to mention any names, Brian, were so engrossed that a special straggler rescue mission was, accomplished by our event coördinator extraordinaire Rick Dawson. Let the record show the buses left right on time with great precision, just like a space launch.

AtlantisAtlantis Cargo BaySpace walker COPA exporers


Saturday evening there was COPA cocktails and Dinner, lots of discussion about the the days activity. After cocktail hour and dinner we had a drawing for door prizes, that included prizes for Cirrus one of our event sponsors, and LoPresti donated their next generation Landing and Taxi light system valued at $2000. Avidyne then sponsored our guest speaker Bob Curry the retired operations manager of the Orlando tower and tracon, who gave us a briefing on flying through class B airspace.

Discussing the tourCocktail chatSaturday before dinnerSturday cocktailsSaturday dinner conversationDinner announcmentsDinner speaker


Rick and Joyce Dawson, organized and put on an incredible event. Every detail was done at the highest professional level and continued into Sunday, when buses left for the airport , at 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 Am with special arrangements for those that wanted to visit the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum on the way. Every one of the 53 attendees gave Joyce and Rick a big THANKs for a great job at Saturdays dinner and as we were leaving.

Kennedy Space Center Tour

Joyce and Rick Dawson



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