Your trip to Florida will be ‘out of this world’ when you visit the Kennedy Space Center’s visitor complex. Only about an hour from the Orlando area, NASA’s launch headquarters is the only place on Earth where you can tour launch areas, see giant rockets, train in spaceflight simulators, and maybe even view a launch or meet a veteran astronaut. The space center combines fun and education with an up-close look at our space program with their many attractions.

Included with admission, the Kennedy Space Center tour takes you to the International Space Station Center, LC 39 Observation Gantry, and the Apollo/Saturn V Center. The tour bus departs every 15 minutes from the Visitor Complex. The Shuttle Launch Experience is a simulator that will let you experience what it is like to be on an actual mission. Two giant IMAX theaters with 5-story screens and realistic 3-D special effects let you view actual NASA missions and make you feel like you are part of them! Take a tour of the Rocket Garden, where you can see the very same Redstone, Atlas and Titan rockets that first put NASA astronauts in space. You can also climb aboard Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules and get an idea of the cramped quarters America’s astronaut pioneers endured. Visit the Apollo/Saturn V Center – a tribute to the Apollo astronauts and the machines that got them to the historic trip to the moon’s surface and brought them home safely.  You can also see the new Apollo Treasures Gallery, which contains a rare collection of spacesuits and other gear used to explore the lunar surface. See the Eye on the Universe: The Hubble Space Telescope exhibition – Orbiting 350 miles above Earth, the most powerful telescope in history gazes into the depths of the universe, capturing images from the past never seen before. Set in an ultra-dark environment, beautiful images showcase deep space, unlocking the mysteries of our universe.  Check out the new exhibit at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, Science On a Sphere. This fascinating new exhibit provides a 3-dimensional view of the Earth and planets as if they were viewed from space.  Imagine seeing changes in sea currents and temperatures across the globe, watching air traffic movement across the planet, and even witness a season of hurricanes move across the Atlantic Ocean – from space!   At the Hall of Fame, you can also explore a rare collection of astronaut artifacts, exhibits and tributes dedicated to our space heroes.  You can pay your respects at the Astronaut Memorial, which honors the 24 U.S. astronauts who gave their lives for space exploration. The names of the fallen astronauts from the Space Shuttle Columbia, the Space Shuttle Challenger and Apollo 1, as well as the astronauts from training and commercial airplane accidents are emblazoned on the monument’s 42-1/2-foot-high-by-50-foot-wide black granite surface as if to be projected into the heavens. For the “junior astronauts”, the newly redeveloped Children’s Play Dome lets them climb a moon rock wall, crawl through rocket tunnels and slide to the surface of the moon.

There are many other things to do, and of course, there is a gift shop for space gifts, as well as numerous dining areas.  You can even have a once-in-a-lifetime experience of having lunch with a NASA astronaut!  (for additional fee)  Visit their website for additional information, interactive map, upcoming events, to shop or purchase tickets online.  Admission is $41 plus tax for adults, $31 plus tax for kids (ages 3-11). Admission includes the KSC tour and all Visitor Complex exhibits, shows and movies, plus the new Shuttle Launch Experience and admission to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®. Please visit the Pricing & Admission page for a complete list of offerings.  FREE kennel service and FREE parking!

For more information about the Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex, visit their web site, or type in ‘Space Center’ in our search (top right) to read more articles about this attraction. Feel free to leave a response below about your visit to the Kennedy Space Center and share your tips and experience!