If you always wanted to watch a space shuttle launch in person, or if you were the kid who never got to go to space camp, this article is for you. We've compiled 10 stops across America where you can see the U.S. space program up close, in all its adventurous glory. On this 3,093-mile (4,977-kilometer) road trip, you'll see NASA's launching grounds, lots of machines that the agency has hurled skyward and cool memorabilia, like the instructions for planting the first American flag on the moon.
Before you start packing, do a little research. Visit the NASA Web site. There, you'll find all of NASA's latest projects, missions and discoveries. You can even watch launches that you wouldn't otherwise be able to see, even if you tried to show up at the launch pad. However, we're assuming that you prefer action to Internet browsing and that you want a different view of the U.S. space program other than NASA's officially sanctioned one. If so, road warrior, then pack up the car and go.
By the way, if you're an are-we-there-yet kind of driver, wanting to reach your first stop at space-shuttle speed, we're sorry. Your minivan would melt at 17,500 mph (28,163 kph) [source: NASA]. Shuttles simply can't be made of your average car materials. If you don't see why, you really need to make it to our first stop: NASA's center for materials science.