Sea, sun, Kennedy Space Center

  March 9, 2017

The day started good with the sun shining bright. Some of the early birds were up to finish some work remaining from the evening before. When everyone was up and ready, we went to the other side of Florida. We drove all the way to Cocoa Beach to watch the sea, the beach and.. surf!

We had to drive two hours to get there and in those two hours the weather changed from sunny to cloudy. Arriving at the beach it was still cloudy and there was a heavy wind. Some of us followed surf lessons. With a heavy boards tied to our ankles we jumped into the sea. The surf guides were complaining about the cold sea and wild waves. For us, the sea was comfortably warm and the waves were strong, but we were loving it this way. Surfing was a great experience, with the waves and the salty water (mostly in our eyes) and the strong wind, the day was complete. During the day the clouds went away and the sun came out. We loved the sun (a little too much) and some of us didn't use enough sun protection. You can guess the outcome, red noses and red shoulders.

After our visit to the beach we drove back to the villa where we cooked Chili Con Carne. Cooking for seventeen people is quite an experience with too small pans and a large amount of food. In the end we managed to create a lovely dinner. We had a great day!

It is already our sixth day in Florida. Time flies when you're having fun. Today we went to Kennedy Space Center. We left early in the morning to beat the crowd.

After a car trip and buying our tickets the day could begin. With adventurous music and a long queue for the Kennedy Space Centre bus, the park almost felt like we arrived in Jurassic Park. The bus drove through a restricted area of the space center. We drove past the Assembly Vehicle Building where the space ships were build. The building was huge in comparison to the people walking around the building, very impressive. The bus driver told us the KSC was built in a swamp and therefore naturally protected by the alligators and wild pigs living there. We even saw some of them during the trip. Besides that, we saw the landing platform 39B where Apollo11 and the other Apollo's were launched into space.

After the bus ride we looked around for a bit at the Apollo/Saturn v center. We went back with the bus to the visitors complex to meet our special friend from FIRST, Barry Bonzack. He gave us a private tour through the space center about the space history. Also he gave us information about the space shuttles in the Rocket Garden. Which is literally a garden full of rockets and space shuttles. Also we met our fellow team, team Rembrandts (team 4481). They also had the honor to listen to a very enthusiastic Barry. We had a great time and made some awesome group pictures together.

After the tour we had some spare in the park. Just like little children we could run around freely and slide down from the slides. Most of us strapped ourselves in the Shuttle Launch Experience, which is a simulation of the launch of a space shuttle. During the simulation we were shuffled in our chairs and they tried to simulate the g-force. It was weird, but very awesome.

The competition days will start tomorrow. Of course there is some preparation work to be done. That is why some of us had to leave the KSC earlier. They went to Orlando together where the competition will take place. The team members had to open up the crate with the robot inside it. Tomorrow we will start early and it will be exhausting but exiting and fun. Our first competition day. We are looking forward to tomorrow and the following days.

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