Facts About NASA Kennedy Space Center – Travel Tips 

If you’re visiting Florida then it’s likely that you’ll be heading to one of the state’s top attractions,  NASA Kennedy Space Center. Whether you’ve been before or are heading to this awesome interstellar experience for the first time, there’s so much to do. But where should you begin?

Given the size and scope of the center, we know it can be a lot to take in! That’s why we’ve put together a brief blog on travel tips and facts about the NASA Kennedy Space Center, including opening times, what to expect, and what to prioritize on your trip.

Alongside the Kennedy Space Center, Real Florida Adventures specializes in Unforgettable Day Trips from Orlando. From days out at Clearwater Beach and boat rides to snorkeling with manatees and airboat adventures, we’ve got something for everyone to enjoy.

If you’d like to find out more about our private tour options, get in touch. Our local team has been providing Florida tours for more than 40 years to travelers from all over the States and the wider world. It’s safe to say we know the Sunshine State pretty well by now!   

But, for now, join us on a virtual trip to the NASA Kennedy Space Center. 

Opening Times at the NASA Kennedy Space Center

Good news visitors! The NASA Kennedy Space Center is open 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Sunday. These times apply January 1 – March 12 2023 and may be subject to change in the busier seasons, so we recommend double-checking the website before you plan your trip.

The last entrance to the visitor complex is at 4pm, so make sure you arrive early in the day with plenty of time to see everything you’d like to.

What Can I See at the NASA Kennedy Space Center?

Any visit to the NASA Kennedy Space Center has plenty of activities to look forward to. Here, we’ll give you a rundown on each area. In addition to scheduled presentations and films that happen throughout the center, here are the main areas each ticket includes:

  • Gateway™: The Deep Space Launch Complex featuring Spaceport KSC
  • Space Shuttle Atlantis® and the Shuttle Launch Experience®
  • Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour
  • Apollo/Saturn V Center
  • Heroes and Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®
  • Astronaut Encounter
  • Planet Play
  • Rocket Garden guided tours
  • Journey to Mars
  • 3D Space Films

Having only opened in 2022, Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex has introduced a whole host of new activities into the center. 

Hosted in a new three-story, 50,000-square-foot building near the impressive Rocket Garden, Gateway’s highlights include a Boeing Starliner cockpit simulator and the James Webb Space Telescope, which continually reveals wonders of the universe.

The Heroes and Legends exhibit is also packed with information honoring all 338 men and women of the American space programs through the ages. Learn some history before heading on the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour, which grants you access to restricted areas of the center.

From the bus, you’ll see the iconic Apollo/Saturn V Center. This is the spot where NASA launched the Saturn V rocket that took Neil Armstrong to the moon! Keep your camera ready for the ride and finally, on your way out, you can see the iconic NASA Iconic Countdown Clock.

Visitors can also look forward to the IMAX cinema, which screens two educational space-themed films called Asteroid Hunters and A Journey to Space. Grab some popcorn and sit back and relax to learn about the past, present, and future of NASA’s space missions.

There are several optional additions to the tickets, including special interest tours, astronaut training programs, and meeting a real-life astronaut. Real Florida Adventures can organize the latter activity for you via our Kennedy Space Center Chat With an Astronaut

If you’ve ever wanted to ask an astronaut about sleeping on a rocket, the food they consume, and training for space exploration, this is an unforgettable opportunity with a veteran NASA astronaut.

What Attractions Are Unmissable at the NASA Kennedy Space Center?

While tours of the center are designed to pack in as many experiences as possible, you may want to prioritize seeing certain areas of the visitor complex before others. In case you’re strapped for time, we’ve rounded up the top three attractions that you must see. 

Watch a Rocket Launch 

If you’ve ever wanted to tick off watching a rocket launch from your bucket list, here is the place to do it! NASA has a dedicated events program, so you can check whether your visit coincides with a live rocket launch. 

There are viewing locations just a few miles away from the launch pads, meaning you get the full sensory experience of lift-off as a spacecraft leaves Earth. Launches also run with live commentary from experts, meaning you’ll listen, feel, and learn as the engines roar into space.

Experience a Shuttle Launch

In addition to witnessing a launch, you can strap in for an astronaut experience on the Shuttle Launch Experience. Buckle up and receive a briefing from a veteran astronaut before blasting off into space. You too can feel the rush of going 17,500 MPH in 8.5 minutes!

This experience is suitable for big and small astronauts, so everyone can enjoy the ride. The Shuttle Launch Experience is also accessible to visitors with disabilities.

Walk Amongst Giants in the NASA Rocket Garden

Our final must-see attraction at the center is the NASA Rocket Garden. Under the clear blue Floridian skies, visitors can walk amongst life-size rockets whilst getting a panoramic view of the wider visitor complex. 

Not only is the garden an excellent spot for multiple photo opportunities, in fact, it’s one of the most photographed areas, but each rocket is authentic and has information about the notable missions it has been involved with. Rockets in the garden have been involved in NASA’s Mercury, Apollo, and Gemini missions.

We hope this virtual step into the NASA Kennedy Space Center has helped guide your potential trip. If you have any questions about how to get to the center or which ticket to buy, get in touch. Our team is here to help make your experience hassle-free and out of this world!

Real Florida Adventures’ #1 Kennedy Center Tour includes transportation and a dedicated tour guide for the length of your visit. We take care of the details so all you have to do is enjoy your trip to the center and see everything you can!

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