top of page
  • kerribmcmullen

RANGE GREEN - Cape Family Day 2024

My alarm went off, I opened my eyes, and the 2024 Cape Family Day was finally here. All I needed was a cup of coffee to give me a little morning boost because I knew my brain needed to be on high alert for the amount of information I was attempting to soak in.


This year was different because I brought two friends with me to enjoy the day and give them a glimpse of our space history and future exploration currently in the works. Angel and Kaiya had never been to the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and were looking forward to seeing the lighthouse. I told them it would be packed, so we needed to hit up the lighthouse, which was a great decision because the parking lot was packed upon leaving. Hearing them talk about all of the lighthouses they had visited compared to the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse was interesting. They were most interested in the lighthouse having living areas instead of a separate structure. This is the only lighthouse I have been inside of but anxious now to explore others.


Friends, Kaiya and Angel in front of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse during Cape Family Day.

From last year, I knew not to linger in spots too long, or you could miss a lot on the "at your own pace" tour. I made sure to hit up popular areas of interest, such as Blue Origin, ULA, and the Morrell Operations Center.


Last year, there were different experiences, and I would love to say it was just as exciting this year, but it was not. With that being said, the most significant factor was I had already been once, plus been to other areas multiple times, so the WOW factor has dulled a bit. But truthfully, space partners showed up a little more last year than this year.


The next big stop was Blue Origin. Even though I knew New Glenn would be unseen and inaccessible to guests, it was still fun to visit. They had a few photo opps we captured fun pictures at, but I felt like the postcard station they did last year was the best stop in the last two years of Cape Family Day. It was by far, the 'coolest'.





Before we left Blue Origin, I had to get a photo of my rocket purse at the Road to Space.


I had to hold up my tiny rocket purse at Blue Origin LC-36 during Cape Family Day.


Off to United Launch Alliance (ULA), and this year, we were allowed to take photos. To many visitors or my readers, seeing part of the second stage booster of Artemis III is not that impressive, but heck, Artemis II has not even launched yet. I wanted to touch it, but of course, it was far from reach so I took a photo as a keepsake. This piece of Artemis III will be flown TO THE MOON. Are you excited now? Whew, good.


One of the pieces to the second stage booster of Artemis III which will take astronanuts to the moon.

We navigated our way to the historic launch complex or LC-34 to view the site of the now deactivated site where the crew perished in the Apollo 1 cabin fire. Astronauts Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Ed White lost their lives during a flash fire inside the crew capsule during a launch test rehearsal. Events such as this has paved the way for current space exploration and should never be forgotten.


Tatered American flag in a hole next to the historic structure for Apollo 1.

Our stomachs needed fuel for our "mission" on Cape Family Day, so we stopped at Hanger F for food and more fun. Can you believe my very first churro was from SpaceX? I know, random, but they were delicious (without the chocolate because it was too sweet). Free churros from SpaceX, sign me up.


I shall call these, Cinnamon Boosters aka free churros from a SpaceX food truck.

Technology has a special place in my soul, and I feed off of technology I can learn from or fuel my creativity. Lockheed Martin had a table where they had a headset, similar to the technology of Apple Vision, which seamlessly blends digital content with your physical space. I HAD to try this out and was blown away. To bystanders, I am sure it looked like I could use a 72-hour hold at a psych unit, but what I saw was a spacesuit that I could deconstruct with my own hands, piece by piece. I want more; now I need more. If anyone is reading this and can feed me more cool technology like this, please contact me.


Deconstructing a spacesuit with Lockheed Martin training software built in to a headset that blends real life with digital assets.

One of our last stops of the day was the Morrell Operations Center, which is the main command center for all launch and missile activity. I have met a lot of celebrities, but meeting the active-duty soldier who gets to say, "Range green" was pretty darn cool—so much so that it gave me goosebumps. I could tell by talking to him that it was just a job to him, and he said he often gets bored but does enjoy still seeing the rockets launch. It blows my mind how that could ever be boring. We all get bored in our jobs, but to me, it is hard to wrap my head around. There was a room next to this one, which was not accessible for Cape Family Day guests, but that room is used for other space partners, which fills with many because companies such as ULA require more support from the Space Force for their launches.


We also learned about roving trucks that detect illegal transmissions or signals during this stop. When I asked if he could share any recent activity they had to stop, he shared that the United States Navy was caught nearby during launch activity, knew what they were doing, which was during part of their own training, and was reprimanded.


The sprinter vans they use have the best of the best technology to detect these signals, meaning some of these trucks have approximately 1 million dollars worth of equipment they are driving around.


Just casually standing in the same room where a small group of SpaceX employees go to oversee their automous rocket launches.

Adventures by myself have never been an issue, but I had so much fun yesterday with Angel and her daughter, Kaiya. We laughed, ate snacks, enjoyed the sunshine, and soaked in a bunch of information.


Standing on a flame deflector at launch complex 34 during Cape Family Day.



Kaiya and Angel laughing as I took their photos.

How I imagine I would look as an astronaut in a spacesuit seeing things in space for the first time.

You can read my blog post from 2023 when I first went to Cape Family day at,

Comentários


Os comentários foram desativados.
bottom of page