1. Heroes and Legends exhibit
The Heroes and Legends exhibit opened in 2016 at The Kennedy Space Center, and is home to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. The exhibit explores the history of NASA’s early space programs and the heroes who risked their lives to travel into space and help us learn more about the Universe we live in.
Relive the dangers and the thrills of being the first human ever to travel into space via a 4D multi-sensory theatre experience that really brings to live the perils of the early space missions and give you new respect for these space heroes.
2. Meet an Astronaut
It’s not every day you get the chance to meet a real-life astronaut – unless you’re at Kennedy Space Center that is! There are very few people on earth who can say they’ve travelled into space, so the chance to meet one of these space heroes and even get your photo taken with them is a real privilege, and definitely something you should make time for on your visit. Make sure you check the schedule ahead of time to find out if there’s an Astronaut encounter on the day of your visit – there’s likely to be a date that suits you during your trip.
If your child (or even you!) is a budding astronaut, you can’t miss the Lunch with an Astronaut experience, which will make every space geeks’ dreams come true! As you enjoy a delicious three-course lunch, you’ll have the opportunity to dine with one of your heroes, as well as a special Q&A session which allows you to ask all your own burning space questions. This is a separately ticketed event with limited availability so make sure to book early if you want to secure your place.
3. A real-life rocket launch
Although you’d have to be lucky to be visiting the Center when a rocket launch takes place, it does happen and you can check in advance to see if a launch coincides with your visit to Orlando. Kennedy Space Center offers one of the best views of the rocket launches from its specially created LC-39 Observation Gantry, which is the closest to the Cape Canaveral Air Station, just 5.5 miles away.
This viewing area along with the Apollo/Saturn V Center and the NASA Causeway require an additional ticket purchase but you can sometimes watch launches from the Main Visitor Complex, which offers an unobstructed view once the rocket clears the tree line. Live launch commentary accompanies all the launches in every location, but it’s important to check which locations are open for viewing before you travel.
4. A close-up of the Space Shuttle Atlantis
For more than 30 years, the Space Shuttle Atlantis safely transported astronauts out into space and back down to Earth with a gentle bump. Now, its permanent home is in the Kennedy Space Center, where guests can stand in awe of the space shuttle’s incredible history. It’s hard to comprehend the flight of this incredible shuttle without seeing it in real life, and you can even learn how to fly it yourself on the Shuttle launch training simulators!
Want to experience as close to the real thing as possible though? Don’t miss the Shuttle Launch experience, where you’ll be briefed by a veteran space shuttle commander and strapped in to experience all the sights and sounds of a real-life shuttle launch.
5. Learn about the future of life on Mars
After exploring the history of space travel in the Heroes and Legends exhibit, you might be left wondering what space travel looks like today. Over at Mission Zone: NASA Now, you can learn about the current missions taking place to learn more about our Universe and in particular one of our closest neighbours: Mars. There are 2 3D IMAX films to enjoy as well as the opportunity to look through the eyes of NASA’s 3D telescope into the depths of the Universe! Don’t miss it.
6. Walk among rockets in The Rocket Garden
Learn about the history or early rocket science from a space expert at the Rocket Garden in this daily tour. The garden features a Mercury-Redstone 3 rocket along with many others. A truly unique and knowledgeable experience.
7. Space Center Bus Tour
See launch pads, restricted areas, and the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building up close in this exciting bus tour. A firm favourite with visitors, you'll learn all about the start of American spaceflight and much more!
To book tickets now, click here.
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