February 20, 2019

To celebrate 30 years of supporting NASA, this year we hosted our first-ever public contest to send one winner and a guest to the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida! Our winner, Emra Zuna, was randomly chosen during a live drawing in December. Emra and her guest have since visited the Kennedy Space Center. She provided us with the blog below recapping her experience:

Walking into the JFK Space center, we were greeted by five towering rockets—all  gleaming and pointing towards the expansive blue sky. ‘United States’ is emblazoned on each one. I couldn’t help but feel a bit proud of being here, being part of America and a country that values exploration and pushing the boundaries of deep space. And to think that these rockets are only part of the equation. Their one job is to thrust the space vehicle, or ‘shuttle’ as it’s known in the vernacular, past Earth’s atmosphere. The Atlantis shuttle, which transports the astronauts and equipment on over 30 missions, sits on display as the main attraction at the Atlantis Exhibit. Though it looks weathered, it’s unbelievable to think how much engineering and work went into every square inch of the shuttle. The shuttle is covered in silica tiles that resist fire upon re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere. Like J.O.Creighton, our resident astronaut said, 40-50 of the tiles would have to be replaced with each journey there and back from space. Even though the shuttle is magnificently large, the astronauts don’t live there while in space. They actually reside in the ISS- the International Space Station.

I’m grateful to REI Systems for allowing my partner and me to learn and enjoy the rich US history of space exploration at the Kennedy Space Center. Happy 30th Anniversary REI Systems!