Note: Although the Kennedy Space Center is currently closed due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus), travelers can still make reservations for a tour on a future date at the center’s website KennedySpaceCenter.com.
By Jim Ferri
If you’re ever in Orlando you’re within striking distance of one of the unique destinations anywhere in the USA: the Kennedy Space Center.
It’s a great day trip that’s only 45 minutes from Orlando. And if you don’t have a rental car that’s not a problem since tour buses make the trip every day.
The Kennedy Space Center: 1,000,000+ Visitors Each Year
Every year more than one million travelers from around the world visit the Center, making it one of Central Florida’s most popular attractions.
Visit it – it’s guaranteed to wow every member of your family regardless of age.
The star attraction of the Center is the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the craft that made NASA’s historic final launch, completing the 30-year shuttle program.
There are only three shuttles that flew in space on display around the USA. The Atlantic is the only one displayed with its cargo door open, and robotic arm extended, just as astronauts saw it in space.
Space Center’s Incredible Multimedia
The Center also features state-of-the-art multimedia presentations.
There are also more than 60 interactive exhibits and high-tech simulators. One of them is the Shuttle Launch Experience, an immersion experience during which visitors are strapped into a “crew cabin” and then moved into a vertical position for a simulated shuttle launch. It comes complete with all the sights, sounds, and feelings that go with a launch to a speed of 17,500 mph, and is followed by an “orbit” of the earth aboard a shuttle.
In the Apollo/Saturn V Center, I was amazed, as were others, at the size of the 363-foot long Saturn V rocket that launched the astronauts to the moon. It’s also the only place in the world where you can touch a moon rock. You’ll be awed by both.
A Great Tour
The tour of the Center includes close-up views of historic and working spaceflight areas, including the massive Vehicle Assembly Building, where the solid rocket boosters, external fuel tank, and the orbiter were joined to create the space shuttle vehicle. It’s one of the largest buildings in the world.
If you have the moolah and would really like to impress your group, you can also tour the Center with a veteran NASA astronaut.
If you go:
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex