Kenedy Space Center - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Places to Visit
This is located 45 minutes from Orlando and is well worth a visit although not really suitable for very young children. Kenedy is open all year except Christmas Day and some special launch days.
Some of our guests who went for a launch, not once but twice because of bad weather the first night, felt it was the highlight on their holiday.
Kenedy is the NASA launch headquarters employing 10,000 people and is Americas busiest launch and landing facility. Amongst its space programs have been:
- Mercury Program - these were US’s first astronauts and responsible for the first manned spacecraft to orbit the earth.
- Project Gemini – the first astronauts to work and walk in space.
- Apollo Program – this put 12 Americans on the moon.
You are advised to take a whole day to see everything properly but my parents called in when staying at Cocoa Beach and as they were limited for time decided to just do the Astronaut Hall of Fame which was located just before you cross the Indian river to the island where NASA is housed. Admission at time of writing ( August 2004) is Adults $16 Children 3-11 $12. They thoroughly enjoyed this seeing life like images of amongst others, John Glenn the first astronaut to orbit the earth, Neil Armstrong the first person to walk on the moon and Jim Lovell who captained Apollo B. Although they were not on the island that NASA occupies (this is 8 times larger than Manhattan) they could still see many of the rockets. Although they are not great space buffs they were pleased they had visited this part of NASA.
Many of our guests have done the full tour and say it is a tremendous experience. There are two options for this:
- Maximum Access admission - Adults $35 Children 3-11 $25. This admission includes a tour of the Kenedy Space Center and Astronauts Hall of Fame, Imax space movies and all the exhibits and shows. Interactive space flight simulators are also included in this price.
- Standard admission – Adults $29 Children $19. This admission allows you the tour of the Kenedy Space Center plus Imax space movies and exhibits and shows.
The bus tour which takes two/two and a half hours departs every fifteen minutes from the Visitor Complex . You will see massive launch pads where the bus will stop to give you great photo opportunities as well as making stops at the Observation Gantry and the Apollo/SaturnV center.
When you return to the Visitor Complex there is still much to do. Visit the Imax where you can see space films on five storey screens/ see 10 storey high rockets from all eras of space exploration in the Rocket Garden/attend an Astronaut Briefing at Astronaut Encounter/walk through a full size space shuttle mock up as well as enjoying live action theatrical shows.
If you really want to make this a day to remember book for “Lunch with an Astronaut”. As well as lunch you get the opportunity to meet an Astronaut, listen to their personal stories of space exploration and also get their autograph. Prices for this are quite reasonable - Adults $54.99 Children $37.99 and this includes Maximum Access Admission.
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