If you are planning a holiday to Orlando a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a must. More than just a theme park, home to the U.S. space programme you’ll see and experience the whole space story, past, present, and future. Now more than ever we are witnessing awe-inspiring images and the steps being made to explore space. For anyone with an interest in space expedition and science, the feats achieved will leave you captivated. We recently visited the complex and here are our top things to do at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex..
1. Gateway – The Deep Space Launch Complex
This is area is all about the future and current space programmes developed by Nasa and commercial activity. Surround yourself with the galaxies as you walk through to see examples of flown capsules and satellites at the cutting edge of science. Experience the future of space exploration on board unforgettable immersive experiences and rides.
2. Walk through the Rocket Garden
Just as you enter the park you will suddenly be among the giant rockets for down through the years. Join a space expert and let them guide you through the history of early rocket science and around the garden which has some of the most incredible, authentic feats of engineering that has pioneered America’s space exploration.
3. Astronauts Experience
Visit the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®
The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® is where American astronauts are remembered and honoured at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Orlando. Take in the interesting displays and learn all about the lives of the space heroes.
What to become one? The Fly With An Astronaut Experience allows you to learn what it takes to become an astronaut. Staring with crew briefing you will get to know the pioneering astronauts of the early space program and journey from land to space alongside a real astronaut. Enter the Space Shuttle Atlantis for a guided tour and private viewing of the pre shows then board the shuttle Launch Experience and feel what it’s like to travel 17,500 mph! This tour starts at 9.15 by the entrance to the Heroes and Legends and ends at appro 2.15pm. The experience is free and included in the price of your admission. It also leaves you plenty of time to explore the rest of the centre yourself.
4. Shuttle Launch Experience®
This fun simulator sends you into orbit, well nearly! Veteran NASA astronauts have called this the ‘next best thing to flying aboard the space shuttle’. This is an experience you are not going to want to miss!
5. Apollo Eight and the Firing Room
Head to the Firing Room Theater and see where all of the action took place during the launch of the first crewed NASA mission in 1968. Sit before the actual consoles used during the Apollo launches and experience the countdown for Apollo 8.
6. Exploring the Moon
Experience the excitement of the Apollo Program in this one-of-a-kind exhibit. This is one of the best things to do at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Touch a real Moon rock which was returned to earth, read the front pages of newspapers from all around the world reporting the first steps on the moon and see an authentic lunar module.
From Alan Shepard’s moon dust covered spacesuit to training gear and prototypes, the Apollo Treasures Gallery is a trove of items which tell the story of astronauts who were bound of the moon. View the Apollo 14 crew capsule, real crew medals and other authentic artefacts of the Apollo moon missions. This is beyond a museum as it brings to life expeditions, life stories and experiences from the Apollo missions.
7. Behind the Gates
It’s no surprise Kennedy Space Center is huge, everything in it is super-sized so the best way to get to the launch pads and to the Apollo Saturn V Center is by their free to ride bus tour, included in the daily admission ticket. Go behind the scenes and enroute past the awe-inspiring crawler transporter, capable of carrying 20 777 airplanes, you hear inspiration stories and interviews from the on board guides.
Jump aboard and get ready to go behind NASA’s gates and tour the restricted areas of America’s spaceport. Follow space guide Emily Calandrelli as she takes you to some of the most mission-critical areas of Kennedy Space Center such as launch complex 39B and the Vehicle Assembly Building.
8. Hubble Space Telescope Theater
This attraction includes an exact replica of the Hubble Space Telescope, which was first deployed in 1990. Learn how this clever piece of technology has answered some of the greatest questions about the universe and how it is still operating in space more than 25 years later.
9. Mars Rover Vehicle Navigator®
Meet the newest member of the NASA family, designed for navigating the demanding landscape of Mars. MRVN is an impressive sight and even features a mobile lab. As long as it is not away on a mission, then you can expect to see MRVN at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during your visit.
This is a truly unforgettable experience and we highly recommend you build it into your holiday to Orlando or the beautiful nearby beaches.
Want to visit Kennedy Space Center? Contact our travel experts today to discuss your visit.