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 coor­di­na­tor 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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