Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

How I spent Memorial Day

by Rob - May 30th, 2007.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

Author Adam-Troy Castro and his wife Judi picked us up at the hotel at 10:00 a.m. and we drove the 50 miles to the Kennedy Space Centre (getting slightly lost on the way). The Castros’ rental car’s windshield got so plastered with splattered insects (“love bugs,” we were told they were called) that we actually had a very hard time seeing though the glass.

At one point, I asked if people knew what ate love bugs — then supplied my answer: Herbie-vores. :)

We started our visit to the Kennedy Space Center (which was remarkably uncrowded, given that this was the Memorial Day holiday) by watching the 3D Imax film Walking on the Moon, which was spectacular — all four of us were teary-eyed by the end. We then took the bus tour to the launch-complex viewing platform (where we could see the top of the Shuttle Atlantis on the pad), and to the newly enclosed Saturn V viewing facility.

We lingered so long at various places (but enjoyable so) that we didn’t get to go to the third station on the tour, devoted to the International Space Station, but that was okay. We ran into San Diego fan Cary Meriwether and his girlfriend Michele at KSC, and spent part of our day with them, as well.

We finished our day by doing the Shuttle launch simulator, a new ride (it opened on Friday!) that supposedly accurately mimics a Shuttle launch by simulating three Gs. Although it was purported to be similar in vomit-inducing abilities to the Mission to Space ride at Epcot that we’d done on Friday of last week, it was actually quite tame, and we all enjoyed it. But I was very disappointed in the conclusion, which has the shuttle hanging upside down, with the Earth overhead — because, while looking on the day side of Earth, they had the sky filled with brilliant (Christmas-tree light) stars. You can’t see the stars in space when the Earth is lit up by the sun; there’s too much glare, and the stars are too faint.

For NASA to opt for a Hollywood-style version of space, instead of simulating the real thing, was a huge disservice in my view.

After, Adam, Judi, Carolyn, and I went to Cattleman’s on International Drive for a nice, late steak dinner.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Leave a Reply