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Traveling Through Space and Time - June 2011

Andrea Gross | Jun 16, 2011, 10:57 a.m.

We ended our Space Center visit at the Mission Status Center, where a NASA representative discussed the future of the United States’ manned space program. “The shuttle program is ending, and Washington hasn’t decided what to do next. Everything is up in the air,” he explained, without a trace of irony.

The next day we time-traveled back to the past at the nearby Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum, a combination restoration facility and exhibition hall that offers a unique view of aviation history. There are 25-30 aircraft on display at any one time, and in short order we saw a single-seat biplane from WWI, a helicopter from Vietnam, a fighter aircraft from Korea, a military transport from World War II, and a fighter jet like those used today. Also on display: a collection of related memorabilia including flags, flight gear and a plethora of model planes.

Every year more than 30,000 veterans and aircraft aficionados gather for the museum’s air show, which features everything from formation flying to rescue reenactments. (The next show will be March 9-11, 2012.)

Finally, we decided it was time to enjoy the present. The Space Center is surrounded by some of Florida’s best beaches, so instead of flying to the moon, we simply reveled in the sun.

For more information:

www.KennedySpaceCenter.com

www. Vacwarbirds.org

www.space-coast.com

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