If your dream is to become an astronaut, but you feel lazy having to spend your life studying there is a much easier alternative, visit the Kennedy Space Center, the most famous and popular space base in the world. The Kennedy Space Center is one of the ten centers of operations of NASA, the primary launching center for manned space flights, and you should know that from there have departed countless missions that have marked the course of history, such as operations for Apollo, Skylab and the space shuttle programs.
If you travel to Miami or Orlando this holiday, know the Kennedy Space Center an incredible major attraction is a fun and educational visit, what better for a family holiday? This one is to one hour to the east of Orlando and three of Miami; located on the Atlantic Coast midway between Miami and Jacksonville; It is a perfect complement if you go on a family vacation in Florida
Although, Kennedy Space Center can be visited in about 3 hours or 4 hours if you go fast and do not entertain too much. It’s best to book the entire day or at least about 6 hours as otherwise, you will have several things to see and experiment (even if you go with the turbo stall).
And what exactly is the Kennedy Space Center? Is it a theme park? A museum or cinema center? It is a mixture of different things. The Kennedy Space Center is the place used, among many other functions, for the launching of rockets and spacecraft into space by the NASA space agency. The center was founded on July 1, 1962, and has since been used for all manned space missions since December 1968, including Apollo 11, the first spacecraft to reach the Moon. Today the place is still 100% operational, and you can see the launches of the different aerospace programs from the various observation platforms of the center.
Next to what would be the huge space complex that most people cannot access on our own, is the visitor center, a place that combines rooms with different exhibitions, IMAX theaters, exhibitions, simulators, shops, and restaurants. The bus that gives you a tour of the vast facilities of the space center or, if it’s your lucky day, the chance to meet some astronaut (probably, retired).
The first thing you will have to do once you get to the visitor center is to go through the box. The ticket offices are located right at the main entrance of the complex that opens its doors at 9 in the morning, 365 days a year. Admission for adults costs 50$ (plus taxes), and with it, you can visit the entire center. If you go by car (the most normal) you must add 10$ more to park the car in the parking lot.
With your entry in hand and the photo with the symbol of NASA and the monument in honor of John F Kennedy in your power! You have 2 options; explore the visitor’s area or go directly to the bus to discover the space center and get to know some of the most spectacular buildings in the place. The buses leave every 15 minutes and the tour lasts 90 to 150 minutes. Seeing the live vehicle assembly building, the fourth largest building in the world by volume, left me with my mouth open.
During the tour, you cannot leave the bus, and everything you see is explained to you through speakers until you reach the one that most spectacular building of all, the Apollo/Saturn V Center. A simulation of the launch of Apollo 8 will welcome you, but that’s just the beginning. At the end of the simulation will open the gates that give access to the interior of the facilities and the first thing you see will leave you speechless, the very same Saturn V rocket, the same rocket that took the ship Apollo from Earth to the Moon. Awesome!
In addition to the spectacular rocket at the Apollo/Saturn V Center, you can also see some of the vehicles that were used in one of the most important moments of humanity. The one in which Neil Armstrong already on the lunar surface said that of; “It is a small step for man, but a great leap for humanity.” Like you or me, you were not born yet, and you did not savor that moment live, the atmosphere that is breathed in each of the rooms and everything there is, will quickly transport you to that historic summer of 1969.
The time you spend at the Apollo Center will depend a little on your preferences but with everything you have for at least 1 hour. It also has a cafeteria, so it is an excellent place to have a coffee or eat something. And back to the visitor complex, don’t miss the Rocket Garden, the IMAX Theater, where you can watch any of the 2D or 3D movies they have (included in the entry) and finally the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Also passing through the Shuttle Launch Experience (both attractions in the same building), where you can see the Atlantis ship, yes, the same one that has gone to space 33 times and transported 156 people. Come on, one of the gems of NASA.
In short, if you are going to spend a few days in Florida and you want to do something different don’t forget to visit the Kennedy Space Center, a unique place in the world that will surely surprise you 😉
Before I wrap up this post, let me share top attractions:
Visiting the Kennedy Space Center: The tour in the space center will allow you to observe the work necessary to perform the launches and space missions; They will be able to know the different areas and environments such as:
- The International Space Station: This is the ideal place to see how the actual components of an International Space Station are prepared before being put into orbit.
At the same time, it is also possible to visit a model that will allow them to see how the members of the crew of the Space Station live and work.
This station is undoubtedly a space that will transport them to a movie environment, and they will meet in person what we often dream of knowing thanks to the incredible fiction stories.
- Rocket Garden: In the rocket garden of NASA, you can see the greatness of these technical wonders that once plowed the space, they can even access the interior of some rockets to check the narrowness that astronauts suffer in their special trips.
Visitors are impressed with the amount and variety of spatial pieces that are exposed to be appreciated and be an incredible background for the photographs without a doubt a luxury exhibition that cannot be missed in your next vacation.
- Apollo – Saturn V Center: Who would have imagined that a man could walk on the moon? In this center are exposed the incredible machines that made that dream come true, and that now welcome thousands of people.
Can you imagine knowing them live and direct? Without doubts, this would be a dream come true for adults and children, which also gives us the opportunity to be part of world history, but above all, it leaves us with a beautiful lesson in perseverance and hope, that what seemed impossible could come true.
- Walk of Fame of Astronauts of the United States: In this space, tribute is paid to all astronauts who ventured into the unknown. Many personal objects of the astronauts are exposed in addition to dozens of simulators in which they can feel the force of gravity increased four times, land a space shuttle or drive a vehicle through the rocky terrain of Mars.
- Shuttle Launch Experience: This is a spectacular space launch simulator. You can enjoy the simulation of rocket launches, as if it were real, living the adrenaline and excitement of a historical moment, as it is each of these.
This space is the favorite for children because of the impressive system used for each of the releases, and that moves them to scenes from their favorite movies.
6.IMAX Space Films: In this environment, you can feel completely in space, thanks to the recordings made by NASA astronauts projected in three dimensions.
An incredible space experience along the way you will not cease to be surprised, you will see in person these impressive rockets, huge and imposing. You can walk among the rocket gardens, learn about the moon landings and the Apollo program.
But the coolest partcould be the exhibition of the space shuttle Atlantis. There you will be able to see a video that explains the history of the ferry program, suddenly during the screening, the cinema screen is raised, and you can look at the real-life version through a transparent screen and even walk near the ferry and see the size of the same.
Have an excellent shuttle launch experience where you’ll be strapped to a chair, then lean vertically and feel the force of gravity of a launch.
Anyway, a visit to Kennedy Space Center is much more than an educational outing, and many kids decided to become astronauts on a visit to the complex. And walking there you see a lot of them dressed up, inspired by the heroes of NASA!