Kennedy Space Center is widely regarded as the most important place in US space history. The first astronauts began their missions here, and even today 17.000 people are working on rockets that are shot into orbit from Cape Canaveral.
Kennedy Space Center is also the perfect place for vacationers in Florida who want to delve into the world of cosmic exploration. Gigantic Space Shuttles, space capsules, flight simulators and fascinating films draw in guests from far and wide.
SIGHTS & AREAS: THINGS TO SEE AT KENNEDY SPACE CENTER
Rockets of every generation and interactive exhibitions await visitors at Kennedy Space Center. The following attractions are particularly popular:
Your first stop should be the KSC Visitor Complex, an area big enough to keep you busy for hours. The complex is separated into different “missions” – in chronological order, so you can relive space history from its beginnings to today. Among the highlights of the visitor center are:
- a true to scale replica of the Hubble Telescope
- the 121 feet long Space Shuttle Atlantis that you can behold from all sides; visitors can even take a peek inside.
- Real space toilets and sleeping chambers for astronauts
- the Astronaut Hall of Fame, where space heroes like Neil Armstrong are immortalized
- Forever Remembered, a memorial honoring the astronauts who died in the Columbia Incident of 2003
- Nasa Now, an exhibition of modern satellites and space capsules developed by NASA and their partners
- the Lunar Theatre, where original footage and lifelike models of the first moon landing are displayed.
- Rocket Garden, a collection of seven towering rockets from the early days of NASA missions
- a five story IMAX cinema with realistic 3D movies
- Space Shop, the world’s biggest gift store for NASA memorabilia.
JOURNEY TO MARS: EXPLORERS WANTED
Colonizing the Red Planet has long been mankind’s dream, and Journey to Mars lets visitors be a part of this endeavor. The exhibition not only displays vehicles that were already present on Mars, but also a space capsule and futuristic constructions like the ATHLETE vehicle that resembles a giant spider and can move on any terrain. What is more, all the information is updated in real time. This way, guests always get the latest news on the progress of NASA´s Mars missions.
APOLLO/SATURN V CENTER
A bus tour takes visitors to this extensive area where everything revolves around NASA´s Apollo missions. Before you gaze at the rockets, it is time to visit the command center used to control the flights from the ground. An original Saturn V rocket forms the center of the exhibition. Due to a length of 360 feet it takes a while before you have seen every part of this vehicle. Exhibits from inside the rocket show what life for the astronauts was like. And if you always wanted to touch a real moon rock, you can do so at the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
SHUTTLE LAUNCH EXPERIENCE
Have you ever wondered what the start of a Space Shuttle must be like for the astronauts inside? Then experience these moments for yourself at the Shuttle Launch Experience. 60 million USD and six years of development were necessary to build this futuristic flight simulator. After an introduction by shuttle commander Charles F. Bolden, 44 people take the journey to space. After the ride a hatch will open, and you will see our blue planet in all its glory.
CHILDREN’S PLAY DOME
At Kennedy Space Center little explorers find a plethora of things to see and do, but no attraction gets them excited like the Children’s Play Dome, a space-themed indoor playground. Here, future astronauts can go for a climb, have fun with the slides, squeeze through narrow tunnels and take space shuttles on fantasy trips to the galaxy, while the grownups enjoy a well-deserved break at the picnic tables.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – OPENING TIMES AND PRICES
Kennedy Space Center is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm.
1 Day Tickets cost 57 USD for adults and 47 USD for children aged 3–11. Included in the price are all attractions in and around the Visitor Complex, as well as a bus tour to the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
If you do not manage to see everything in one day – a real possibility given the sheer number of exhibitions – you can get the Multiday Admission for 82 USD (67 USD for children). This allows you to visit the Center as often as you like for one year. The following enhancements can be booked in addition to your ticket:
- KSC Explorer Tour: For 25 USD (19 USD for children) visitors can tour the restricted areas of the Space Center, including the giant Vehicle Assembly Building.
- Cape Canaveral Early Space Tour: This 3 hour tour includes the historic launch sites at Cape Canaveral as well as the Air Force & Missile Museum. The tour costs 25 USD (19 USD for children).
- Launch Director Tour of Space Shuttle Atlantis: For 65 USD guests are shown the Space Shuttle Atlantis on an exclusive tour led by launch director Mike Leinbach.
- Dine With an Astronaut: Having lunch with a real astronaut gives you the chance to hear space stories first-hand and ask the questions you have always wanted to ask. This enhancement costs 30 USD (16 USD for children).
- Astronaut Training Experience: If you want to know what it is like to be an astronaut in training, the Space Center has multiple programs for you: from a simulation of the atmosphere on Mars for 40 USD to training used by real NASA astronauts before they go on space missions (costs: 175 USD).
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE
Seeing a rocket launch at nearby Cape Canaveral is an unforgettable experience – and one that is free if you watch the launch from the Visitor Complex. Additionally, there are tours to special visitor galleries costing 19 or 48 USD. If you want to stay updated on rocket starts, you can visit the official website kennedyspacecenter.com.
A PREVIEW OF WHAT AWAITS YOU IN THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER
In this clip you can catch a glimpse how the Kennedy Space Center looks like.
DIRECTIONS TO KENNEDY SPACE CENTER
Kennedy Space Center is located on Merritt Island off Florida’s east coast, only a one hour drive away from Orlando. It takes roughly 4 hours by car to get there from Cape Coral. Flights to Orlando´s International Airport are considerably faster. Once in the city, you will have no problem booking a bus tour to Kennedy Space Center.