What better time to visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex than now as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of NASA’s Apollo Program.
Kennedy Space Center Tour with Gray Line is the perfect choice when visiting the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. You’ll meet an astronaut upon arrival (exclusively with Gray Line) usually on Wednesday & Saturday mornings. If the astronaut is not available, they will substitute with a walkthrough tour of the Space Shuttle Atlantis facility.
There’s no need for a car rental. Roundtrip transportation along with your admission ticket is included from Orlando, Kissimmee, and the Walt Disney World Resort. Gray Line Orlando will pick you up. That makes a day trip much more convenient and enjoyable.
A majority of today’s visitors remain securely within Walt Disney World Resort without transportation. The Kennedy Space Center Tour will take you to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex where you can see proof of America’s Glory Days, including some space vehicles such as the Saturn V rocket, the largest rocket ever made, which sent 27 men to the moon. The space shuttle Orbiter Atlantis, still coated with space dust and the only public remnants of the two space shuttles that were lost.
Kennedy Space Center is on the Space Coast about an hour east of Orlando and it’s worth the trip. You should try to start the day at the opening. The main visitor complex exhibits should be left for the end of the day if you have time.
Unless there’s an astronaut encounter going on that’s an hour-long presentation in which an actual astronaut talks about their experience and answers questions, proceed instantly to the can’t miss the Behind the Gates bus tour which leaves every 15 minutes until about 2:15 and takes most people about three hours. Be warned that the last buses won’t leave you enough time to browse. Coaches, which are narrated by a live person, zip you around NASA’s tightly secured compound.
You’ll see launch sites that were used by the shuttle and by the Apollo Moon shots, plus you’ll receive an intellectual explanation of the preparation that went into each shuttle launch.
You’ll fly by eagles nests, alligator rich canals, pads that are now leased by private space mission contractor SpaceX and Boeing, and the confoundedly enormous Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB which it’s commonly referred to, where the shuttle which NASA calls the Orbiter was readied.
The main bus stop is the Apollo/Saturn V Center and is themed Race to the Moon and begins with a five-minute film and full-scale mock-up of the firing room in the throes of commanding Apollo’s 8 launch. The adjacent hangar contains a Saturn V rocket, which is greater than you can imagine at 363 ft long. Make sure to reach into the case to touch a small moon rock. The presentation in the lunar theater recalls the big touchdown, It is well-produced and even includes a video appearance by the late Neil Armstrong.
After that, it’s back on the bus and on to the visitor complex for the grand finale. The hundred million dollar home of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. How it is revealed is probably the most spine-tingling moment in all of Orlando, Florida. It hangs 26 feet off the ground at an angle of 43.21 degrees, and it’s still covered with space dust. Must see the commemorative Forever Remembered. Alongside favorite mementos provided by the families of their crews, you’ll find respectful displays of sections of the Hull of the Challenger, and a slab of cockpit Windows of the Columbia. You can have a try on the Shuttle Launch Experience, in which 44 person motion simulator pods mimic a launch with surprising clarity and Heroes and Legends that tributes the hundred explorers in The Astronaut Hall of Fame. This space shuttle section can easily consume 2 hours.
Once you’ve completed the bus tour and Atlantis it’s up to you whether you want to visit the visitor’s complex. Definitely take time to check the 42-foot high black granite slab of the Astronaut Memorial, commemorating those lost; Early Space Exploration, where you will see the mission control for the Mercury missions, plus authentic space suits from the Gemini, Mercury, and Apollo series.
There is also a variety of additional explore tours where you will see something that’s not on your standard KSC bus tour. You’ll visit the shuttle’s launch pad, the Launch Control Center used in the shuttle last lift-offs, the core of the Mercury and Gemini missions, and find out what NASA is up to now including the new Space Launch System.
Kennedy Space Center Special Tours
These are optional and at an additional cost. You may or may not have time to take these in on a Gray Line Kennedy Space Center tour.
Astronaut Training Experience ATX
Astronaut training experience ATX, along with the companion program Mars Base 1, will bring you as close to training, living and working on the Red Planet as possible without ever leaving Earth.
Practice your docking skills while navigating the unique Mars terrain and experience the excitement of performing a spacewalk in a microgravity environment. Using compelling and immersive simulation technology, you and your team will work together to solve real-world problems using actual NASA science.
Travel to Mars for the day features living on the Martian surface: manage the Base Operations Center on Mars, grow and harvest plants in the Botany Lab, and collect and analyze data.
If you don’t have the hours or funds, then one of these programs might be more suitable. The Spacewalk training stage is where you will train in a microgravity chair, moving in a frictionless environment. The Spacewalk training stage is where you will train in a microgravity chair, moving in a frictionless environment. Or, there’s the Mars Exploration Simulator Training Stage. Here you’ll sharpen your docking skills and drive over the harsh Mars terrain and also experience the sensation of walking on Mars.
Lunch With An Astronaut
An astronaut will conduct your tour of the complex reliving old tales of glory. During lunch, you’ll receive an autographed photo of you along with your astronaut guide.
Fly With An Astronaut Dates 2019
May 24, 25, 26
June 21, 22, 23
July 12, 13, 14
August 16, 17, 18
September 6, 7, 8
October 11, 12, 13
December 13, 14, 15
Live-action gaming where you will build a Martian habitat and perform scientific experiments aboard the International Space Station. Cosmic Quest trainees report for duty to Robonaut. Open each Adventure Challenge by fulfilling your mission objective.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is just one small step from Orlando. Making it the perfect Orlando day trip.
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