Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Resumes Suspended Bus Tours on October 18, 2013

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Space Shuttle Atlantis

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.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Still Open During Government Shutdown

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.

Space Shuttle AtlantisWhile 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.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit Unveiled at Kennedy Space Center on June 29 (with Video)

Kennedy Space Center  Space Shuttle AtlantisOn 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:

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Offers Best Public Viewing of Atlas V Rocket Launch on May 15, 2013

ksc-atlasvrocketOn 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.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Emerges from Protective Shrink Wrap at Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center is one step closer to opening it’s Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit with the unwrapping of the shuttle that occurred last week on April 25, 2013.

Atlantis has been enclosed in 16,000 square feet of protective plastic shrink wrap since its Nov. 2 move from Kennedy Space Center to the Visitor Complex. Specialists first cut the shrink wrap into sections, and then lifted it away in a dramatic reveal of much of Atlantis, including the forward fuselage.

If you want to see what that looked like, KSC has released a video showing the unwrapping of Atlantis.

2013 Astronaut Hall of Fame Ceremony at Kennedy Space Center Honors New Inductees; Sets Milestone for Women Astronauts

More than 20 elite astronauts, all members of the Astronaut Hall of Fame, met at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Saturday, April 20, 2013, to welcome the newest inductees into the Hall of Fame.

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Bonnie Dunbar, Curt Brown and Eileen Collins (pictured left to right) are the 2013 inductees into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

This celebration marked the first time that two women have entered the Hall of Fame at the same time, with the induction of Bonnie Dunbar and Eileen Collins, alongside fellow shuttle astronaut Curt Brown. With this year’s inductions, the Astronaut Hall of Fame now has 85 members, including space pioneers such as Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Sally Ride, Neil Armstrong, and John Young.

Obviously, it is no small feat to be selected to join such a prestigious group of astronauts, and this is only the 12th group of nominees to receive such honors. The list of achievements of these three astronauts is indicative of the type of dedication and experience required to attain such status.

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Kennedy Space Center Opens Angry Birds Space Encounter Attraction March 22, 2013

Kids of all ages will have another reason to visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex starting today (March 22), as the Angry Birds Space Encounter attraction opens.

ksc-angrybirdsBased on the popular video game, the attraction aims to inspire learning about science and technology in a fun way.

The 4,485-sq-ft Angry Birds Space Encounter includes six interactive stations:

  • Create Your Own Angry Bird – Guests create their own Angry Bird and then can print their bird as a keepsake
  • Danger Zone – A mirrored labyrinth challenges guests to find hidden Angry Birds
  • Cold Cuts Tile Puzzle – Guests attempt to solve Angry Birds sliding puzzles, with three levels of difficulties
  • Red Planet Lazer Challenge – Journey to the surface of the Red Planet, where lazer beams create obstacles along a course during a search for the mythical eggs
  • Eggsteroids Slingshot – Compete against other players using mini Angry Birds launched in a slingshot at the Space Pigs
  • Angry Birds Game Zone – Play the actual Angry Birds game against other guests

NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, Ph.D., who previously announced from the International Space Station that NASA and Rovio would partner on the creation of the Angry Birds Space game, was also on hand for the grand opening.

The opening of Angry Birds Space Encounter comes a few months before the Kennedy Space Center will celebrate the grand opening of the new $100 million home of Space Shuttle Atlantis June 29.

Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is $63 + tax for adults and $53 + tax for children ages 3-11.

For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Kennedy Space Center to Open Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit on June 29, 2013

ksc-atlantislogoThe Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has announced that it will open the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit on June 29, 2013.

This $100 million project will feature the shuttle as its centerpiece. Atlantis will be suspended off the ground and placed at a 43-degree angle with its payload doors open and its robotic arm extended.

The 90,000-square-foot exhibit will also include 60 interactive stations detailing the history of the space shuttle program.

“Although the multimillion-dollar interactive exhibit encompasses much, much more than the display of Atlantis, there is no denying, she is truly the star of the show,” said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.  “We know that this majestic beauty, which safely ferried men and women to space and back on 33 successful missions, is the real reason that our guests will travel thousands of miles, across oceans and across continents to visit Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to see her in all her glory. There are no words to accurately describe the emotions and insights guests will gain when this attraction opens this summer, for there has truly never been anything like it before.”

Atlantis was rolled to its new home in a ceremony we covered last November. It has been covered in shrink wrap since then to protect it from construction dust and debris, and will be unwrapped in May, prior to the exhibit opening.

For more information on the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit, go to kennedyspacecenter.com.

Kennedy Space Center Offers Florida Resident $99 Four-Pack Deal

ksc-4packtixFor a limited time, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is bringing back a great deal on admissions for Florida residents.

From now until March 24, 2013, guests can use a coupon available online (kennedyspacecenter.com/four-pack.aspx) to receive admission for four people on the same day for only $99. Normal ticket price is $50 per adult, so it’s basically like getting two people in free.

You must print out the coupon and present it at the ticket plaza at the KSC Visitor Complex with your proof of Florida residency to get this deal.

For more information, visit: kennedyspacecenter.com.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Unveils New $16 Million Entry Plaza

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Yesterday (December 27), the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex unveiled the first phase of a 10-year Master Plan to enhance the guest experience, when it opened a new $16 million entry.

The new entry includes:

  • a grand plaza and fountain
  • ticket stations and self-service kiosks
  • will call, guest services and information stations
  • a retail shop
  • a restaurant

The new entrance draws guests from the parking lot into a grand entry plaza where they are greeted by a first-ever 3D representation of the NASA insignia that spans 13 feet in diameter.

To the right of the globe stands a 75-foot-long fountain that pays homage to the dreams of late President John F. Kennedy, for whom NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is named.

Kennedy’s face, along with a quote from his famous 1962 “moon speech” at Rice University, are laser etched onto a skyward-reaching arch of blue granite that stands 30-feet at its highest point. The inscription reads, “For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond…”

The 5,000-gallon fountain is lit in the evenings with LED lights and features 26 jets of water that can be programmed to create light shows for guests as they exit the park or during evening special events or exhibitions.

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Get One Free Child Admission with Paid Adult at Kennedy Space Center through January 7, 2013

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is offering a special discount for guests who visit during this holiday season.

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Purchase one adult admission at $50 + tax, and get one child admission free (a $40 savings).

This special runs through January 7, 2013, and is only available when purchasing admission at the front gate ticket plaza. The offer is not available for advance purchase.

Admission includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, featuring an actual Saturn V moon rocket, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season.

It also includes KSC’s second annual “Holidays in Space,” which runs through January 1, 2013. This includes holiday decorations and the opportunity to learn about the holiday traditions of each of the International Space Station partner countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to Open on Christmas Day For First Time

Once of Central Florida’s most popular attractions, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be open to guests on Christmas Day, for the first time in its 45 year history.

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Guests can enjoy KSC’s second annual “Holidays in Space,” which runs through January 1, 2013. This includes holiday decorations and the opportunity to learn about the holiday traditions of each of the International Space Station partner countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

All of this in addition to the regular tours of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), Launch Control Center (LCC), and Launch Pad.

Admission includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, featuring an actual Saturn V moon rocket, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season.

Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is $63 + tax for adults and $53 + tax for children ages 3-11.

For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit KennedySpaceCenter.com.

See Space Shuttle Endeavour One Last Time at Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has put together some special viewing events for the space shuttle Endeavour before it heads for its future home in California.

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On September 14 and 15, KSC will have a bus tour that includes a drive-by of Endeavour and the specially designed Boeing 747 that will carry it cross-country, as well as Launch Pad 39-A and the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Cost is $20 for those over 12 and $14 ages 3-11, in addition to regular admission.

Then, on September 17, visitors will be able to view the beginning of Endeavour’s trip to its new home. Guests can watch as it crosses above the KSC complex’s Rocket Garden. This is included with regular admission. However, for an additional $40, you can view the take-off from the limited seating area at the Shuttle Landing facility.

Until then, Endeavour is currently in the KSC’s Vehicle Assembly Building, and guests that take the special tour of that building will be able to get up close to the shuttle.

Next year, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will open a specially built area that will house the space shuttle Atlantis, the only one to remain in Florida.

Regular admission to KSC is $50 over 12 and $40 ages 3-11. During the month of September, you can save $5 if you purchase in advance online.

For more info or to purchase tickets, go to kennedyspacecenter.com or call 877-313-2610.

[Photo courtesy of NASA]

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