Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s annual high-tech holiday celebration, Holidays In Space, returns for its fifth year from December 21-January 1, 2017.
The centerpiece of the nightly event is a “Spirit of Exploration” show projected against the side of a Saturn 1B. Reimagined for 2016, it takes guests on a journey through NASA’s history and plans for the future.
Friday, I had the chance to attend a mixed media/passholder preview of the 2015 edition of “Holidays in Space” at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and I have to say it’s a lovely addition to all the other incredible things to see at the complex.
Your first taste of the holiday theming is the giant NASA logo that has been tranformed into a giant ornament. Peace on Earth, indeed.
Returning for its fourth year, “Holidays in Space” offers visitors to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex a unique hi-tech way to celebrate the holidays, along with the history of space exploration.
Highlights of the celebration include the very cool “Spirit of Exploration” show, a one-of-a-kind presentation of space and holiday imagery shown on the side of the 223-foot-long Saturn 1B rocket, accompanied by mood lighting in the Rocket Garden.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has broken ground on a new attraction called Heroes and Legends, which will include the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 29, on the eve of this year’s 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame inductions, and featured many hall of fame members.
On Saturday, May 30, 2015, four space shuttle astronauts will be inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame during a public ceremony held at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction.
This year marks the historic 25th anniversary of the Hall of Fame, which was conceived in the 1980s by the six remaining Mercury astronauts as a place where space explorers could be remembered. Past Hall of Fame inductees include Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle astronauts.
This weekend, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will offer a special, limited-time, limited-capacity program called Fly With An Astronaut, on February 15 and 16 only.
Fly With An Astronaut allows guests to spend a half day experiencing the highlights of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, including a ‘flight’ on Shuttle Launch Experience, with a veteran NASA space shuttle astronaut and pilot.
Limited to just 43 guests each day, the program includes admission to the Visitor Complex as well as a morning of tours and activities guided by astronaut Jon McBride. McBride served as the pilot of STS-41G aboard space shuttle Challenger, and he will join guests on the Shuttle Launch Experience.
[Ed. Note: we learned after this went to press that KSC has changed the date of the launch to January 6, 2015. So you still have time to make plans.]
Get a “front row seat” to view the Dec. 19 SpaceX Falcon 9 launch at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on December 19, at 1:20pm.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 will carry the Dragon capsule to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). This is the fifth resupply mission by SpaceX for NASA, bringing food and supplies, including new science experiments and technology research, to the crew aboard the ISS.
Launch viewing is available at the LC-39 Observation Gantry, located within the secured areas of Kennedy Space Center and just over three miles away from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where the Falcon 9 will launch from Space Launch Complex 40.
In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the International Space Station (ISS), Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is hosting crew members of the first space shuttle mission to construct the ISS on Tuesday, December 10.
On Dec. 10, 1998, the six-member crew aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour became the first people to enter the newly created International Space Station after transporting the American connecting node, Unity, and connecting it with the Russian module, Zarya.
The anniversary celebration at the Visitor Complex includes photo opportunities for the public with the astronauts at Space Shuttle Atlantis from 10-11am. A panel discussion and Q & A with the astronaut crew takes place at 12:30pm at the Astronaut Encounter Theater. Seating is provided on a first come, first serve basis.
Holidays in Space returns to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex through January 5, 2014.
Adorned with holiday decorations, the Visitor Complex will welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus daily through December 24. Each day, the first 200 children to visit Santa will receive a voucher for a free gift. In addition, Kodak representatives will be on hand to snap the perfect family photo, sitting with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and provide prints for sale.
New this year is the exhibit, “Through the Toy Box: An Out-of-this-World Collection,” which represents mankind’s fascination with space over the last 100 years in the form of toys.
And the decorations include a towering 42’ International Space Station-themed holiday tree located in the Rocket Garden, decorated with 5,000 LED and 32 strobe lights, 600 miniature international flags and 5,000 ornaments, topped with an LED star.
“Holidays in Space” is included in admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Souvenir photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus are available at an additional charge.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call 877-313-2610 and visit KennedySpaceCenter.com.
On November 18, a massive United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvoultioN (MAVEN) orbiter is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The Kennedy Space Center is holding a four-day pre-launch celebration starting November 14, leading up to the historic launch.
The MAVEN mission will explore the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind, and is the first mission dedicated to measuring the upper atmosphere of the planet.
From Thursday, Nov. 14 through Sunday, Nov. 17, Visitor Complex guests can discover a wide array of displays, exhibits and models themed around Humans 2 Mars.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has begun offering a new three-tiered annual pass program that will allow guests to choose the experience that is best for them.
The new tiered annual pass structure and benefits are as follows:
Discovery Pass – $75 plus tax for adults, $60 plus tax for children ages 3-11
· Unlimited admission for one year
· 10 percent off admission tickets for up to six guests per visit
· A Discovery Pass lanyard
· The Visitor Complex newsletter
Atlantis Pass – $89 plus tax for adults, $71 plus tax for children ages 3-11
· All Discovery Pass benefits
· Free parking
· 10 percent off souvenirs
· 10 percent off food and beverage
· 10 percent off Astronaut Training Experience® and Camp KSC®
· Exclusive special events and privileges
· An Atlantis Pass lanyard
Explorer VIP Pass – $139 plus tax adults and children
· All Atlantis and Discovery Pass benefits
· One free KSC Up-close tour
· One free Lunch with an Astronaut
· A free collectible souvenir
· An Explorer Pass lanyard
Guests who have purchased the previous Commander’s Club annual pass within the last year will continue to receive those benefits through the expiration date of their pass. The Commander’s Club pass sold for $75.
For more information on Kennedy Space Center Complex, please visit KennedySpaceCenter.com.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will resume offering Kennedy Space Center bus tours to the Apollo/Saturn V Center,starting Friday, Oct. 18.
The bus tours had been suspended due to the government shutdown, but the KSC Visitor’s Center had remained open during the time period, since the Visitor Complex is not funded through appropriated or taxpayer funds. Operation, maintenance and development are funded through revenue generated by ticket, food and merchandise sales.
Operating hours are from 9am to 5pm daily.
For more information, visit kennedyspacecenter.com.
While the current government shutdown has affected NASA and many projects at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is still open for those who visit the Space Coast.
This is because the Visitor Complex is actually operated by Delaware North, a private company.
While KSC Bus Tours and KSC Up-Close Tours onto Kennedy Space Center property have been put on hold, guest can still visit all of the following with admission:
- Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit
- Astronaut Encounter
- Shuttle Launch Experience
- Angry Birds Space Encounter
- Rocket Garden
- Hubble and Space Shuttle 3D IMAX films
- Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted
- Early Space Exploration
- U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Florida residents can save up to $60 on admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex with the Florida Four-Pack admission coupon, which offers four general admissions through December 31 for only $139.
For more information, or to purchase advance tickets, visit kennedyspacecenter.com.
On Saturday, June 29, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex held opening ceremonies for their newest exhibit, Space Shuttle Atlantis. In attendance were NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and KSC Director Bob Cabana, both previous shuttle astronauts, and over 40 NASA astronauts.
It is now the world’s most comprehensive and interactive attraction devoted to NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program.
Inside, guests to KSC will find the Space Shuttle Atlantis with cargo bay doors open and tilted on a 43.21-degree angle to allow easier viewing inside. Because the payload bay doors were not designed to be opened in Earth’s gravity, a complex process was developed to support and suspend the doors using steel cables.
Space Shuttle Atlantis is included with regular admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
If you’d like to watch the opening ceremonies, KSC was kind enough to share this video with us:
On Wednesday, May 15, 2013, an Atlas V rocket will blast off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch window is from 5:39pm to 5:58pm.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests may view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area in Brevard County. This viewing area will feature live NASA launch countdown commentary.
A limited number of Apollo/Saturn V Center launch viewing tickets can be purchased for $20 plus tax, in addition to regular Kennedy Space Center admission. Bus loading for the Apollo/Saturn V Center viewing area will begin at 3:30pm and will continue until 5pm.
If you don’t want to pay extra, regular admission will allow you to view the launch from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. This area will also feature live mission control commentary.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call 877-313-2610 and visit kennedyspacecenter.com/launch.aspx.