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Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida is the only place on earth where you can experience a Space Shuttle Launch, which is amazing. But there is so much more.

Stand next to a Titan Rocket, experience s shuttle launch in the shuttle launch simulator, watch an IMAX movie and see the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

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Rocket Garden

The Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center, FL

Kennedy Space Center
Merritt Island, Florida
(866) 737-5235

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open year round except for Christmas and certain launch days. Operating hours are from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. but on launch days Kennedy can open as early as 6 a.m. 

Centrally located, KSC is only a short drive from Orlando (about 45 miles) and is any easy drive on highway 528. If you are visiting the theme parks in Orlando then plan a day trip over to Kennedy Space Center.

Kennedy Space Center is the launch headquarters for NASA and the primary landing site for the Space Shuttle. Every year there are dozens of launches from Kennedy including the Space Shuttle and a variety of Rockets. If you want to attend a launch then you should buy your tickets online in advance at kennedyspacecenter.com.

There are several exhibits at KSC so you could spend an entire day and not run out of things to see.

Shuttle Atlantis Liftoff Closeup

The Shuttle Atlantis clearing the launch pad

Exhibits at Kennedy Space Center

The Rocket Garden

One of most popular exhibits at Kennedy Space Center is the Rocket Garden. When you stand next to a Atlas or Titan Rocket you get perspective. The rockets seem much taller in person. The rocket garden has Titan,  Atlas, and Redstone rockets. These are the rockets that were used to launch our Astronauts into Space.

There are also Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo capsules. And you can climb inside the capsules, which unlike the rockets are much smaller than you might imagine. 

Shuttle Launch Experience

The shuttle launch experience is a ride. As you enter the shuttle launch experience at Kennedy Space Center you learn all about the shuttle launch process and hear first hand accounts from astronauts.

NASA describes the launch experience as a realistic simulation. Your seat reclines at a serious angle, there is extreme shaking, vibrations, loud noise and lighting effects. We can tell you it was fun and exciting. And it is included in your general admission so there is no extra charge.

You have to be at least 48 inches tall to ride the launch experience and you have to be in good health.

IMAX Movie at Kennedy Space Center

KSC has a huge IMAX movie theater and there are always movies playing. Many of the movies include rare NASA footage and in some cases there are commercial movies playing. The 2009 release of Star Trek played for three weeks.

Astronaut Encounter

The Astronaut Encounter is your chance to meet one of the 500 people of Earth’s six billion people that have flown in space. Astronauts give you a briefing and you have the chance to ask questions and take pictures.

Children’s Play Dome

For younger children there is a play area with a slide, moon rock wall, tunnels, and a rocket.

Apollo Capsule

Climb inside this Apollo Capsule at Kennedy Space Center

Space Shuttle

A space shuttle exhibit you can walk inside at Kennedy Space Center

International Space Station Center

The space station is the largest and most complicated structure ever put into space. At Kennedy Space Center you can go into a full scale mock-up of the module where the Astronauts live on the Space Station. You also get an inside view of how NASA creates components for the Space Station.

Apollo and Saturn V Center

In the Apollo and Saturn V Center you can see a real Saturn V rocket. That is the rocket that propelled that Apollo mission to the moon for man’s first visit. The rocket is huge and you can also see a command module.

These are just a few of the exhibits you can see at Kennedy Space Center. There are also special programs available.

Special Programs at Kennedy Space Center

The special programs at Kennedy Space center give you a real hands on feeling of being an Astronaut.

The Astronaut Training Experience puts you in a life size mock up of the space shuttle on a simulation of a mission to the International Space Station working with a fully outfitted mission control.

There are three versions of the Astronaut Training Experience available ranging from a half day to a three day program where you sleep at Kennedy Space Center. These programs require advance reservations and are an additional cost.

Other special programs at Kennedy Space Center include Lunch with an Astronaut and Camp Kennedy Space Center - a week long summer camp.

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