The Kennedy Space Center encompasses all of the US space programs and missions such as Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and more. Here visitors have the opportunity to see behind the scenes and, in some cases, to enter the spaceports, which are normally not accessible. The Kennedy Space Center’s visitor center is divided into different Mission Zones, which are structured chronologically and range from the beginnings of American space travel to today’s attractions.
Here you can marvel at the capsule of the Apollo 14 lunar mission, which returned from heaven to earth in 1971. The space suit of Alan Shepard, the commanding officer of the Apollo, is also on display here, covered in moondust. But also one or the other other landing capsule or launch pad can be visited here. And if you want, you can even go on a space walk in the simulator for entertainment. Around 1.5 million visitors from all over the world come to the Kennedy Space Center every year to take a look behind the scenes at NASA, which makes the KSC an important economic factor for Florida.
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The individual Mission Zones in the NASA visitor center
- Heroes & Legends
- Behind the gates
- Race to the Moon
- Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other
- NASA Now + Next
Dates for rocket launches and other events
From time to time it is possible to witness live rocket launches in the Kennedy Space Center. Dates for the rocket launches are on the Kennedy Space Center website to find. In addition to rocket launches, the Kennedy Space Center can, for example, experience astronauts live at set times. You can usually observe the rocket launches in front of the Space Shuttle Atlantis® in front of the main complex. If you want to visit one of the special viewpoints, you have to pay an additional fee.
Tours of the Kennedy Space Center
In addition to the bus tour, other tours are offered in the Kennedy Space Center. The tours are divided into groups for teenagers, students, adults and seniors.
Special offers in the NASA Visitor Complex
In addition to its museum and many other attractions, the Kennedy Space Center also has some very special offers to offer, which are:
- Launch Director Tour of Space Shuttle Atlantis®: During the Launch Director Tour of the Space Shuttle Atlantis®, Mike Leinbach brings you closer to the incredible era of the Space Shuttles in NASA history. You can tour the space shuttle Atlantis with him during this activity and learn more about the risks and benefits of the space shuttle program. The tour begins on the Space Shuttle Atlantis®, continues with the Shuttle Launch Experience® and finally takes you to the “Forever Remembered” memorial, which honors the astronauts who participated in the space shuttle missions STS-51L Challenger and STS-107 Columbia lost their lives. There is also a digital photo with Mike Leinbach’s autograph. Tip: do not wear a green shirt when you visit. Because the picture is shot in front of a green screen.
- Astronaut appearance: Every day visitors have the opportunity to meet a NASA astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. In the event calendar you can see when which retired astronaut can be found at the Astronaut Encounter, whose lecture you can listen to. Here you can get rid of questions that you’ve always wanted to ask, such as what it feels like to be in space in a spacesuit. The meeting with the astronaut is included in the entrance fee.
- Dine with an astronaut: This exclusive offer gives you the opportunity to enjoy a buffet and experience common astronaut traditions. This includes, for example, training in the T-38 jet, visiting the Astronaut Beach House and staying in the crew’s quarters before take-off. The respective gastastronaut will share his experiences with you during the first flight, tell you how he felt during the take-off and what it really is like to live in space. You also have the opportunity to ask questions and take a photo with the astronaut.
- Cape Canaveral Early Space Tour: America’s space program began at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This historic military installation and museum can be viewed by visitors as part of a guided tour. These include the Air Force Space & Missile Museum, the Mercury 7 Monument and Launch Complex 34, the memorial for the crew of Apollo 1. The tour is only available Wednesday through Sunday and registration at the information center is required.
- Behind the Gates at Kennedy Space Center: On this discovery tour you will drive through the American spaceport with a space expert. The tour takes visitors beyond the normal bus tour and gives you the opportunity to snap photos at multiple stops.
- Cape Canaveral’s Rise to Space Tour: This special-interest tour gives you the opportunity to visit restricted and historical areas of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and learn more about the United States Air Force and the early American space program. You can see historical launch sites, visit the Sands Space History Center and Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, and explore Hangar C during the tour. It is a very extensive tour that can take up to 4.5 hours.
- Astronaut Training Experience (ATX): In the Astronaut Training Experience® you can train on the simulator like the next generation of space explorers. Together with the accompanying program Mars Base 1, the attraction will take you to Mars using simulation technology, where you can take a space walk, among other things.