On Sunday, we packed up to leave, checked out of the hotel and went back to KSC for the Launch Control Center Tour. We had a great tour guide, Rob, who obviously cared quite a bit about NASA, and exploration and the folks he has worked with. He was a wealth of interesting tidbits and a bit eccentric, so it was a good time.
We got back to the visitor’s center as soon as possible, had lunch, and then boarded the bus for the Launch Pad Tour. This was the real reason we even came! We went back out to LC-39, past the Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP-1), the VAB, the new Space Launch System (SLS) launch Launch Umbilical Tower (LUT), and a host of other Three-Letter Acronyms (TLAs), all the way to pad 39A.
The tour guide was a little silly – typical tour-guidey jokes, and a little bit of latent nervousness – but he was well informed and had a decent shtick, so it was going to be okay. The bus driver (sorry, John) – operator, rather – was quiet and older, and smiled – another good sign.
On Saturday, we got up around 7, got ready, had the free continental breakfast, and noticed that it was raining quite heavily. John opted to buy a $5 poncho from the hotel’s gift shop (a fairly bush league affair), and off we went to go to KSC. John looked like he was wearing nothing but a black garbage bag and sandals. I wish I had thought to take a picture.
This past weekend, I flew solo out to Florida and hooked up with my best friend, John, to take part in some short-term tours offered at Kennedy Space Center. We planned to spend Saturday and Sunday looking at parts of the site that normally are off limits to general tourists, specifically, the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), the Launch Control Center (LCC), and Pad 39A.
We’d been out of touch for some months, what with the birth of our new daughter, but Lynn was on our minds and in our hearts. I received word just a few minutes ago that he was ready to go, and went. I’m sad to lose a dear friend, and I’m sad for his lovely wife and his two boys that are left to grieve, but I’m happy that he’s no longer in pain. He is at peace. He is not gone, so long as we remember him.
Posted for Wilbur.