‘Kennedy Space Center,’ United States Space Center

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“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Astronaut Neil Armstrong said a lifetime for all humanity when he was the first person on earth to take the first step to visit “Sister Hang’s house” on the moon on July 20, 1969. Place He departed from the Apollo 11 spacecraft launch platform at the Kennedy Space Center (Kennedy Space Center, abbreviated as KSC) at Cape Kennedy located near the city of Orlando, Florida.

June is the month that begins Summer in the state of Florida, this place is called the “Sunshine State” of the United States. However, the weather is still pleasant right now. At this point, I suddenly realized that poinciana flowers were blooming in many places in the Southeast. The phoenix here and also in the Bahamas is a red phoenix, not a purple phoenix like in Southern California.

Those who accidentally set foot in the city of San Macos (near San Diego) in May and June often have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful purple jacaranda landscape of this city. Rows of purple jacaranda trees are not only planted along both sides of the road, but are also planted right in the middle of the main road. And the landscape of the purple phoenix blooming was truly beautiful, so beautiful that I stopped the car to admire the beauty.

In contrast to the West of the United States, the East (Florida) and the Bahamas, we do not see purple poincianas but only red poincianas, called “red” but actually the correct color is “orange red.” But thanks to the red-orange color, the poinciana trees here give visitors a happier feeling when seeing the purple poinciana color.

But I didn’t come to Florida because of the poinciana flowers, but just because of a place in my mind that always inspired me to want to come back to visit this place. That’s Cape Canaveral, home to the Kennedy Space Center, home to all manner of high-end technology, and home to a museum for America’s aerospace industry.

At one time, from 1963 to 1973, Cape Canaveral was called Cape Kennedy. However, after that, the name Cape Kennedy had to return to the old name for this cape, but the Kennedy Space Center still grew larger to welcome tourists from all over the world to come here, to have the opportunity to see firsthand the outstanding development of the US space industry.

That day, in 1961, saw the loss and inferiority of the United States’ aerospace industry before the Soviet Union. John F. Kennedy, the youngest president in US history, did not hesitate to declare before Congress “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth” (I believe that our country has enough capacity to send people to the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of this decade. We have enough confidence to overcome this).

NASA did not disappoint him! In 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first American to take humanity’s first step on the moon. The second person is Buzz Aldrin, his companion. The Apollo space program ended in 1972. By the end of the US Apollo program, a total of 12 US astronauts had set foot on the moon. In addition, until today (2019), no other person has had the opportunity to set foot in “Ms. Hang’s house.”

Only the Apollo 13 mission in the Apollo program encountered obstacles en route and had to return safely to Earth. The Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 missions all successfully landed on the moon. Astronauts brought pieces of soil and rock from “Ms. Hang’s house” back for humanity to see and guess whether “Ms. Hang” is young or old.

Every night, humanity looks at “Sister Hang” from a distance of 300,000 km and people think that “she” is still very young, so many musicians – poets – writers around the world fall in love with “her” beauty. Among them is Vietnamese musician Pham Duy, who dared to “impolitely” ask “Ms. Hang’s age:”

“How old is the moon?
How old is the moon? Why do I think I’m as old as the Moon?
I’m as old as you
. Dear moon
, the moon is still graceful!”

But now Kennedy Space Center has an answer for musician Pham Duy: “Ms. Hang” is still “very young.” She is only about 3.7 billion years old.

Coming to Kennedy Space Center, you must definitely visit the Apollo – Saturn V Center. This is the center of the space museum, where visitors have the opportunity to look back at the journey of the Apollo spacecraft. At the same time, visitors can also review the test launch program of the Mercury spacecraft and then the success of the Gemini program, the programs that were prepared for the birth of the Apollo spacecraft. The highest point of the program was the landing on the moon and the safe return to earth of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

Also here, people display the first part of the Command Module of Apollo 14 (ie the compartment containing three astronauts returning to earth by landing in the sea), and the Saturn V rocket – the type of rocket used to propel the spacecraft. Apollo entered orbit. These are the two main parts of the Apollo spacecraft, displayed here for visitors to see firsthand, and briefly understand the spacecraft’s path to the moon. The success of Apollo gave the United States the opportunity to “plant many USA flags” on it and must have claimed “sovereignty” of many different lands on the moon.

In addition, when visiting KSC, visitors also have the opportunity to see the vehicles transporting (Crawler-Transporter) rocket batteries and spacecraft to the launch pad. There are quite a few launch pads built around this area, but the Space Shuttle program’s launch pads are considered the most massive and beautiful. The building that assembles spacecraft and rockets called the Vehicle Assembly Building is very large, standing tall in the middle of Cape Canaveral. Visitors can comfortably sit in the bus and take pictures and videos, but the tour bus does not allow getting off the bus to “walk” in this Cape Kennedy area. You should notice, there are about five thousand crocodiles living around this place. These “crocodiles” are very loyal “body guards” of the Kennedy Space Center.

After visiting the Apollo/Saturn V Center, you must visit the Atlantis Space Shuttle Building. Here, you have the opportunity to see the “original Atlantis spaceship” resting and showing off to you the weathered look that the ship was flying in space more than 30 years ago. After 33 flights into space, Atlantis was brought back on display so visitors can see firsthand the feat of humanity.

Entering the exhibition hall, standing opposite the spaceship Atlantis, I felt the smallness of both scientists and astronauts. But in return, they have sent signals to extraterrestrial planets on behalf of all humanity about the intelligence and bravery of humans on planet Earth. Only by seeing the Atlantis ship with their own eyes can one feel the greatness of the human mind.

KSC spent more than $100 million to complete this space museum. In front of the Building are two rockets connected to a giant External Tank fuel tank. This system is called “External tank and two solid rocket boosters,” used to put the Space Shuttle spacecraft into earth orbit. This is also an image that becomes familiar to the world every time they watch the United States launch the Space Shuttle into space.

NASA is probably also preparing for future landings on the Moon, so there is the next space program, the Space Shuttle Program. Program of spaceships flying into earth’s orbit, connecting space stations. And astronauts have to live a long time in vacuum before flying back to earth. There have been a total of 135 space missions like that, to complete a space station in earth orbit. This is considered a transition station before continuing the journey to the moon.

John F. Kennedy Space Center is not only home to a giant building that assembles spacecraft, but is also the starting point for America’s space exploration journeys. The Mercury Redstone Rocket, Atlas Rocket, Saturn V Rocket, as well as the world’s most modern rocket “The external tank with two solid rockets,” the Apollo Command Module and Space Shuttle spacecraft were all launched from here.

All the assembly techniques, the launching techniques of spacecraft, the assembly techniques in a vacuum, the techniques of landing and leaving the moon of small spacecraft all represent outstanding progress in the field of space. space of the United States in particular and of humanity in general.

Humans are on the way to learning more about the extremely deep space in the universe. Kennedy Space Center helped me suddenly see the “universe” in my mind. Look around to find the “ten directions of the world”, find the time of “no beginning and no end” – no beginning and no end.

I suddenly remembered a person sitting under a pippala tree contemplating and discovering that more than 2,500 years ago. He, like Aristotle, Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Galileo, Einstein and many other scientists, talked about “the universe through their wisdom” or enlightenment, no one could truly realize and verify scientific points. of the universe. But Kennedy Space Center helps me see reality and understand more about the universe, and see more clearly the extremely small and impermanent things of a human life.

Astronauts all over the world have a mindset that transcends limited national borders, to search for more good things to bring to people beyond the planet Earth. They accepted all risks, including their lives, 24 American astronauts and countless Soviet astronauts became unsung heroes for humanity.

Kennedy Space Center doesn’t just want to fly to visit “Miss Hang” alone, they also plan to visit Mars and Saturn. Going up to visit “Sister Hang” only took four days to go and four days to return. As for visiting Mars, it’s a bit troublesome. It takes a long time for the spaceship to arrive, and then you have to figure out the way back. Perhaps NASA also feels far away, so they are changing their program and planning to move in with “Ms. Hang.” Surely this agency is also having a house construction program up there. Anyone want to invest?

As for me, I am also planning to create a tour “Sister Hang within reach” for Vietnamese tourists to visit “Sister Hang”. The price is not yet available, but let me tell you a little bit so that tourists have some idea of ​​the price of space tourism. A flight to earth orbit takes only half an hour (?), costs only about $250,000 and tourists need to book now and your name is only on the “waiting list.” As for the price of a flight to the moon, perhaps even Bill Gate has no choice at this time.

Leaving Kennedy Space Center on the way home, I saw rows of purple jacaranda trees again. I suspect that the purple phoenix color has changed a bit. I don’t know if the purple flower color is darker or lighter, or if my mind is still attached to the spaceships Apollo and Atlantis. 

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