Kennedy Space Center
Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Thu 15 Dec 2011 16:05
Picked up a rental for a few days and went over the Kennedy Space Center and did the major attractions including the Hubble Repair on IMAX 3D from inside the Shuttle Payload Bay. We took the guided tour out around the launch pad complexes 39A and 39B and toured the VAB (the huge Vehicle Assembly Building) used as a hanger to construct the STS and Saturn 5 rockets. We hooked up for most of the day with a couple from Sweden who were here staying with their son in Florida while he gets his helicopter licence.
After a training session we did a Space Shuttle launch simulation and managed to get a main engine start, ride the twang (the shuttle rocks as the main engines start and before the SRBs equalise the thrust) the SRBs fire then lift off, clear the tower, initiate the roll sequence and throttle back through Max Q (to lessen the stresses on the STS) before going 104% throttle up at 35,000ft and continuing for 2 minutes before SRB separation to continue running on the 3 main engines using the external fuel tank, through Negative Return (not enough fuel left to make a return to KSC) and then total quiet at MECO (main engine Cut off) then it’s ETSEP (External Fuel Tank Separation) and into low earth orbit.
I even tried a LM landing late in the afternoon and landed perfectly with 30 seconds of fuel remaining and the simulator told me it was the best Lunar Module landing that day – God I’m good