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day trip to kennedy space centre

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary

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A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

Planning a trip to Kennedy Space Center can be a bit intimidating. There is a lot to see and do within the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at Cape Canaveral and it can be tough to decide where to go first, the best way to see the top attractions, and even what things you should see and do and what things might be best left for a future visit. This self-guided tour of Kennedy Space Center will help you plan your itinerary and maximize your visit.

The first time I visited Kennedy Space Center, I didn’t have a plan… We just wandered around, in and out of the various buildings. That’s a perfectly fine way to visit if that’s your style, but you will probably miss out on a lot of things, and you won’t necessarily hit things in the best possible order.

On subsequent visits, I had a better plan this time around. Not only in terms of what I wanted to see and do (things I missed the first time) but also in what order I wanted to see and do them.

This self-guided tour of Kennedy Space Center will give you a plan of attack and order of operations for your visit that will maximize your time and provide the greatest insight into the U.S. space program and its more than 70 years of history.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

In my opinion, it makes the most sense to explore the space program and Kennedy Space Center in a more or less chronological fashion. This means learning about Mercury and Gemini before you learn about the Apollo missions, for example. The Mercury and Gemini programs were the stepping stones that led up to Apollo, after all. The lessons learned in each of those programs culminated in Apollo, and lessons learned there led to the Space Shuttle, and so on.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

The problem is that those programs are spread out across different buildings and even areas of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, meaning that you don’t necessarily just want to go from one building to the next in order.

Gaining a greater understanding of the history of human space flight is important! We are living in the most exciting time for space exploration since the 1960s and a visit to Kennedy Space Center will help you appreciate all of that even more.

Let’s jump into how to plan your visit to Kennedy Space Center with this suggested itinerary.

Planning a Day at Kennedy Space Center

The majority of visitors will be coming from the Orlando area, and Kennedy Space Center is located about a one-hour drive from there. The Visitor Complex opens year-round at 9 am and I suggest planning to arrive at opening time.

You can save time by purchasing your tickets online in advance. Tickets for adults  are currently $57 each.

Skip the Line and Buy Your Tickets Now

But you don’t need a reservation for the park unless you are planning on doing the add-on enhancements like chatting with an astronaut or the training stages (for an additional fee on top of an entrance ticket).

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

Closing time varies depending on the season, but is either at 5 or 6 pm, meaning you have 8-9 hours at Kennedy Space Center. You can easily fill all that time here. So let’s get into our self-guided tour of Kennedy Space Center and your itinerary for the day.

Kennedy Space Center Attractions Map

Be sure to scroll around, zoom in and out, and explore for a better idea of the Kennedy Space Center attractions, including insight into where the launch pads are, the bus route to the Apollo Center, and much more.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

Rocket Garden

Just inside the entrance of the Visitor Complex stands the imposing Rocket Garden where you will find real versions of some of the most famous rockets in space flight.

The rockets are primarily from the early days of the space program but also feature some more modern ones, as well.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

There are guided tours of the Rocket Garden at different times throughout the day, including one just after the park gates open. I would suggest hopping on this one!

The guided tour of the Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden lasts about 15-minutes and will share with you some of the key developments and progress in manned space flight from the earliest days up through the Saturn IB rocket.

You will also find massive rocket motors and the (tiny) capsules of the various programs which you can crawl inside to experience.

https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/

Doing the Rocket Garden first allows you to explore the earliest days of rockets (ballistic missiles) and manned spaceflight, plus it is all outdoors so it is best to do it before the Florida sun starts beating down on you.

Rocket Garden Time: 15-30 minutes

Heroes & Legends

Right beside the Rocket Garden, you should backtrack and head up the ramp to the relatively new Heroes & Legends building. This building explores some of the qualities needed by those early-day astronauts to strap into the top of a retrofitted missile and blast off into space.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

The Heroes & Legends exhibit is among the newest additions to Kennedy Space Center and includes many very well-done exhibits, including interactive displays and attractions. You will learn a lot here about the astronauts involved in Mercury and Gemini, including their personal lives and what lead them to be part of the space program.

Don’t miss the Mercury mission control room, the Redstone rocket hung overhead, and Mercury and Gemini capsules on display.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

The Heroes & Legends exhibit highlights Mercury and Gemini in greater detail, using some of the rockets you just saw in the Rocket Garden like the Mercury-Redstone, Mercury-Atlas, and Gemini-Titan rockets.

The Mercury 7 program sent six astronauts (flying solo) into space intending to reach orbit. Gemini sent up two astronaut teams with various space travel goals in preparation for Apollo, including spacewalks, docking procedures, and more.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

You can make a brief stop at the Astronaut Hall of Fame near the end of the exhibit, or save it for later in the day if time allows.

  • Heroes & Legends: 1 hour

Apollo / Saturn V Exhibit

After learning all about Mercury and Gemini, let’s take the lessons learned and head to the Apollo program! The Apollo / Saturn V building at Kennedy Space Center is located in a separate area, accessible via a short bus ride.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

Head straight to the bus area and board for a short guided tour of Kennedy Space Center to otherwise inaccessible areas. On the bus route, keep your eyes open for the Mercury-Redstone rocket soon after leaving, the SpaceX operations area (more on them later), and the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) where projects like Artemis (to return to the moon) is being worked on.

You will arrive at the Saturn V exhibit and be guided through a multi-room video introduction that is quite impressive. This tour or entrance will eventually lead you directly under the massive engines of a Saturn V booster hanging the length of the building… A mind-blowing sight to see the size and scale of the rocket that took humans to the moon.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

There are numerous exhibits and rooms around the perimeter of the building that explore more of the various Saturn V flights culminating in the landing on the moon with Apollo 11.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

There are somber reminders of the dangers as well, at the exhibit of Ad Astra Per Aspera detailing the tragic deaths of three astronauts: Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee, in a fire on the launchpad. The first Americans to die for space exploration, and not the last.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

Be sure to step outside the building to see Launch Pad 39A and B, the launch pad of so many major milestones in space flight, with lots more to come in the future!

Adjacent to the building is also the Banana Creek viewing area where you can see rocket launches which are becoming increasingly frequent (about once per week). If you are visiting on a launch day, you might want to save the visit to Apollo / Saturn V to coincide with an hour or two before launch.

Click here to check out the Kennedy Space Center launch schedule.

If you’re following the suggested itinerary, you may want to grab lunch here at the Moon Rock Cafe or at the Orbit Cafe back in the main visitor complex area. Either way, you will want to grab the bus back.

Apollo /Saturn V exhibit time: 1-2 hours

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Space Shuttle Atlantis

After taking in the history of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, we are ready to embark on a new and exciting chapter of human space flight with the introduction of the Space Shuttle! The Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit is located adjacent to the drop-off area for the Apollo bus.

The Space Shuttle marks the most lengthy period of space flight, with 30 years of service, over 100 missions, and more than 300 astronauts flown.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

The ability to partially reuse a spacecraft (the shuttle is a glider that is reusable, but the rockets themselves were not) marked a huge turning point in space flight systems and set some of the groundwork for what we have today.

Inside the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit, you will find the actual Space Shuttle Atlantis after one of the most impressive reveals you will ever see. Seeing the scale of the Atlantis up close and personal is another mind-blowing experience.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

The age of the Space Shuttle is a whole new era that introduced the International Space Station (ISS) still flying overhead and was instrumental in the launch (and repair) of the Hubble Space Telescope which fundamentally changed our conception of the universe.

Don’t miss out on the Space Shuttle Launch Experience which gives you a bumpy ride to space and even the illusion of weightlessness upon arrival. There are numerous exhibits about the shuttle and related technologies throughout the building, and also be sure to check out the memorial to the 14 astronauts who died in the Challenger and Columbia accidents, along with some wreckage from both vessels. Another reminder of the dangers.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

The space shuttle itself was retired in 2011 after 30 years of service, and the United States sat idle for nearly 10 years, unable to launch U.S. astronauts from U.S. soil, instead having to buy seats from the Russians to launch from Kazakhstan just to reach the International Space Station… But that was all about to change.

Space Shuttle Atlantis time: 1-2 hours

Gateway Launch Complex

Finally, back near the Rocket Garden at the entrance to Kennedy Space Center is the newest addition, the Gateway Launch Complex. This exhibit takes us into modern times and even explores some possibilities for the future…

Here you will find some space-flown hardware including a SpaceX Falcon 9 first-stage booster, a SpaceX Dragon Capsule, an Orion Capsule, and some other space hardware like the Boeing Starliner Capsule, Sierra Space Dream Chaser, and concepts for new space station elements.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

It was, of course, the SpaceX Falcon 9 that brought Americans back to the International Space Station from U.S. soil with their first manned flight in November 2020, more than 9 years after the last Space Shuttle flight, and certainly one of the few bright spots in the dark days of the pandemic.

These are the reusable boosters that return to earth, landing upright with engine ignition. It has happened so many times now (some individual boosters have more than 13 landings) but it still seems like CGI or magic every time, especially when they land out at sea on a giant barge. The Falcon 9 is still only partially reusable, and the next step is fully reusable rockets.

In terms of the future, there are some proposals for space station capsules and flight here, as mentioned, plus four different interactive experiences where you can take off to Mars, Trappist-1, and other destinations.

Who knows what the future holds for space flight? Well, after today, you’ll have a pretty good idea of our progress, how we got there, where we are today, and what the future could hold.

Gateway Launch Complex time: 1-2 hours

Tour of Kennedy Space Center Itinerary

  • Rocket Garden: 15-30 minutes
  • Apollo / Saturn V: 1-2 hours + 30 minutes for bus shuttle (15 minutes each direction)
  • Lunch: 1 Hour
  • Space Shuttle Atlantis: 1-2 hours
  • Gateway Launch Complex: 1-2 hours
  • Recommendations to fill any extra time below

These five exhibits on this tour and itinerary of the Kennedy Space Center will fill your entire day but there are still more things to see… These five destinations or exhibits are the most important, not only in terms of the history of space flight but also the most impressive and complete exhibits at Kennedy Space Center.

A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary travel, north-america, florida

Visiting the exhibits in this order will take you on an in-depth tour of American spaceflight. Here is a recap of the programs along with some notable accomplishments and a timeline.

  • Alan Shephard first American in space (1961)
  • John Glenn first American to orbit the earth (1962)
  • Gordon Cooper with 22 orbits (1963)
  • Ed White with the first American spacewalk (1965)
  • Neil Armstrong performed the first manned docking in space (1966)
  • Neil Armstrong first man on the moon (1969)
  • Apollo 17 the final voyage to the moon (1972)
  • Bruce McCandless first untethered spacewalk (1984)
  • Hubble Space Telescope launched into orbit (1990)
  • Eileen Marie Collins was the first woman to command a Space Shuttle mission (1995)
  • First crew abroad at the International Space Station (2000)
  • SpaceX Dragon capsule docks with ISS, the first private spacecraft (2012)
  • SpaceX Falcon 9 lands the first stage of an orbital booster for the first time (2015)
  • U.S. Astronauts travel from U.S. soil again to the ISS on a SpaceX Falcon 9 (2020)

The plume of a pre-dawn Falcon 9 launch

Tip: Read the book Into That Silent Sea & In the Shadow of the Moon before you go to gain better insight into the early days of the space program and a better appreciation for everything you will see here.

If you have more time that you want to utilize, I’d suggest budgeting a little more time on the period of most interest to you, whether that is the Space Shuttle, Apollo, or early Mercury/Gemini programs.

If you want a break, I’d suggest working in an IMAX movie after lunch or in the afternoon — check out the app or pamphlets at the entrance for a schedule. There are also massive gift shops if you want a NASA or SpaceX t-shirt (the best one is at the main plaza).

You can also finish out the day by visiting Journey to Mars, the Space Memorial Mirror, the Nature & Technology exhibit, or the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame if you bypassed it earlier while visiting Heroes & Legends. These are all secondary exhibits, in my opinion, and should be left for the end of the day or included in future visits.

I hope that this suggested itinerary and schedule of Kennedy Space Center prepare you for an incredible day at one of my favorite places in Florida. I’m adamant that Kennedy Space Center is not just a stopover to include on an Orlando family vacation, but an incredible destination in its own right.

The experience is even more incredible if you can time it with a scheduled rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center. Unmanned launches are a pretty regular occurrence these days, so your odds are good! But even if you can’t make a launch, the visit to Kennedy Space Center is 100% worth it and I try to return periodically to absorb even more details and insights about space exploration and to explore new additions to Kennedy Space Center.

Be sure not to miss my guide on things to do at the Kennedy Space Center with more details about each exhibit and the highlights you can’t miss at each spot, plus thoughts on where to stay in Titusville and other necessary trip planning help.

Tips to Book Your Trip Now & Save Money

Book Your Flight Book a cheap flight with Momondo , they’re my favorite search engine. Or better yet, start travel hacking so you can fly for free. Another great search engine is Skyscanner .

Book Your Accommodation Book cheap accommodation in advance. For hostels I recommend HostelWorld , for hotels I use Booking.com or Hotels.com , and for apartments or longer stays, I use Airbnb . I like to check reviews on TripAdvisor prior to reserving.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance This is easy to overlook but SO important. It will help protect yourself from illness, injury, and theft while traveling. VERY important. And be sure to read my article about international travel insurance for more details

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Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my budget travel resources page for the best companies to use when traveling. I list all the ones I use and recommend to save money when I’m on the road.

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Home » A First-Timer’s Guide to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

A First-Timer’s Guide to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

KSC_featured_wow

The minute you step through the gates at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex , you are transported to an out-of-this-world experience with limitless possibilities, and a showcase of what humankind has achieved in its travels to space – and beyond.

If it’s your first time at the visitor complex, we understand it can be a little overwhelming with so much to do. That’s why we’ve put together a guide for first-time visitors

ksc_imax

One-day and two-day tickets for adults and children ages 3-11 are on sale, with senior and military discounts also available.

Save time ahead of your visit by purchasing tickets online at KennedySpaceCenter.com, and heading directly to the front gate! Tickets can be purchased on-site, too.

If you want to spend multiple days at the visitor complex (and why wouldn’t you?) then consider getting an annual pass for you and your family. Having either a two-day ticket or an annual pass allows you to visit the complex more than once and really take in all we have to offer! Click here for all the ticket details .

ENJOYING YOUR DAY

ksc_selfie

With so much offered, here’s a breakdown of what you can do at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

At Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex®, see the visionary designs paving the way of human deep space travel while also discovering the current cutting-edge innovations of space exploration from NASA and commercial partners. And while at Gateway, don’t forget to take experience Spaceport KSC, where you’ll launch aboard one of four unforgettable journeys during an immersive ride. Guests must be 39” minimum to enjoy the attraction.

Experience the dawn of the space age and get up close with actual artifacts at Heroes & Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® presented by Boeing®.

At Universe Theater, meet a veteran astronaut and hear their stories at Astronaut Encounter, learn about the matter in It’s A Matter of Fact, and hear about recent and upcoming NASA missions in Mission Status Briefings. Check the Daily Schedule for show times.

At Space Shuttle Atlantis®, see the real Atlantis orbiter, which flew to space 33 times and traveled 126 million miles. You can also interact with more than 60 exhibits and simulators about what it’s like to live and work in space! And don’t forget to strap in for the Shuttle Launch Experience®. If you have motion sensitivities, you can still enjoy the mission briefing pre-show. The attraction has a 44” height minimum. A non-motion viewing area is also available.

Little ones can enjoy Planet Play, a fully immersive play experience for the next generation of space explorers.

Don’t miss the Apollo/Saturn V Center, where you’ll explore the Apollo Program’s worldwide impact – all while standing underneath the tallest rocket ever flown. You can also touch a Moon rock, watch first-hand accounts of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, and more. The Apollo/Saturn V Center is accessible through the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour, where you can go behind NASA’s gates to see the past, present, and future of America’s multi-user spaceport.

Also, don’t forget to explore the Rocket Garden, visit Journey To Mars launched by United Launch Alliance, and see a space-themed film at IMAX®.

ENHANCE YOUR VISIT

ksc_event

The fun doesn’t stop there.

More enhancements are available for purchase in addition to admission. They are:

– Astronaut Training Stages: The experience for guests ages 10 and older allows you to practice your docking skills, navigate the Mars terrain, experience the sensation of performing a spacewalk, and more.

– Chat With An Astronaut: Enjoy a sampling of food and beverages while getting the chance to ask a real veteran astronaut your most pressing questions in a small-group setting. Purchase tickets online or at Guest Services.

– KSC Explore Tour: Go beyond the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour! Make several stops to capture once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities of spaceflight icons. Tickets are available for purchase online or at Information. Arrive at least 15 minutes before your tour departure time.

BE YOUR OWN GUIDE

ksc_guide

Use your smartphone to create your own customized multimedia tour. The KSC SmartGuide app is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and American Sign Language. Download the app for free from the App Store and Google Play.

Also, the visitor complex has partnered with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, creating a welcoming space for people with autism and sensory needs. Sensory Guides are established at each attraction entrance. Don’t forget to download the Sensory Guide as well.

COME HUNGRY

ksc_food

You’ll probably work up an appetite while you’re at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Luckily, there are plenty of food and drink options available.

Enjoy pizza, salads, burgers, pulled pork at Orbit Cafe, acai bowls and choose-your-protein dishes at Space Bowl Bistro, hot dogs and other classics at Red Rock Grill, and more. For a quick pick-me-up, enjoy Starbucks®, ice cream at Milky Way, traditional movie favorites at IMAX Snax, and more.

If your first visit is this fall, then it’s the perfect time to partake in our annual Taste of Space Fall Bites! Celebrate the taste of the season from Oct. 2-Nov. 5, 2023, with brand-new menu options throughout the visitor complex. Click here for more information.

During the holiday season, you can enjoy Holidays in Space across the visitor complex. There is a nightly projection show, and festive holiday décor throughout the grounds including six-foot-tall astronaut nutcrackers and a 50-foot tree with more than 61,000 pixels of light and so much more.

PICK UP A SOUVENIR

ksc_rockets

Don’t forget a piece of memorabilia to commemorate your trip to the visitor complex when you visit The Space Shop, the world’s largest collection of NASA merchandise. Gifts and souvenirs are also available at Shuttle Express, which features gifts and souvenirs about the Atlantis orbiter and NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. At The Right Stuff at Apollo/Saturn V Center, pick up products that celebrate the Apollo missions.

Also, take the memories home with you with Astropass, powered by Storibox, which includes all your digital photos from all of the visitor complex’s photo locations. It’s available for purchase online or at Guest Services.

What are YOU most excited about for your first visit ?

Select an option

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Orlando day trips: kennedy space center visitor complex.

Discover out-of-this-world adventures, live rocket launches and a full day of family fun. Blast off to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (pictured), just an hour east of Orlando.

Updated Feb. 15, 2023

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of … well, you and your family and friends. And if you have a personal mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where you’ve never gone before, then it’s time to chart a course for the one-and-only Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Visitor Complex .

Save on discount tickets: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Inviting you to explore space without ever leaving Earth, this historic, world-famous venue is just an hour from Orlando’s tourism districts on Florida’s east coast, resulting in an easy day trip. And with so much to see and do there, it’s easy to make a full day of it. Here’s a checklist of all the reasons why you’ll want to make the KSC Visitor Complex part of your next journey to the Theme Park Capital of the World.

Discover: Day Trips From Orlando

Witness Actual Rocket Launches From Up Close

Kennedy Space Center hosts live rocket launches throughout the year, including those from NASA, Blue Origin and SpaceX. If you’re timing your trip to coincide with a scheduled launch, there is no closer place to see it than the Visitor Complex — and with expert commentary, to boot. All official viewing locations are about as close to the launch pads as safety allows, giving you an unparalleled opportunity to see and feel the liftoff of spacecraft propelled by enormous rocket engines.

Note that the higher profile the launch, the more likely there is to be an additional fee to access viewing locations. Check Visit Orlando’s events calendar or Kennedy Space Center’s website for upcoming launches and viewing opportunities for your next chance.

Experience Modern Space Travel — and Its Future

Photos taken by the Social team while out at The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during August 2022.

KSC Visitor Complex is organized into Mission Zones, featuring attractions and tours grouped by chronological eras — and the newest is also one of the most fun. Launched in 2022, Gateway™: The Deep Space Launch Complex gives you the chance to enter the spaceport of the future before embarking on one of four journeys: Red Planet, Daring Encounters, Cosmic Wonders and Uncharted Worlds. All four take you to decidedly different corners of our galaxy, from Mars to the deepest reaches of space.

Heads up that Gateway can be a somewhat intense experience. If members of your group don’t meet the height requirements or have restrictions or sensitivity to motion, they can still experience a full ride without the movement by visiting the Observation Bay. Gateway also features exhibits where you can immerse yourself in the science of current missions to the International Space Station and upcoming journeys into deep space.

Stand Nose-to-Nose With Space Shuttle Atlantis

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex boys taking selfie with space shuttle

After 33 missions, 4,848 Earth orbits, and nearly 126 million miles, NASA’s Space Shuttle Atlantis landed for the final time at KSC in 2011. Now, the Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other Mission Zone invites you to see it up close and in person, along with 60 interactive exhibits that celebrate the history, technology and impact of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.

Beyond getting to see the actual Atlantis , reasons to visit this Mission Zone include the Hubble Space Telescope Theater, Astronaut Training Simulators, and the Shuttle Launch Experience®, where you’ll experience the sights, sounds and sensations of blasting off into space aboard a shuttle. Go for launch, indeed!

See How Our Journeys Began

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex saturn v apollo center

It can be argued that no NASA program did more to ignite mankind’s passion for space exploration than the historic Apollo Moon landings. It could also be argued that there is no better place to explore that era than the Race to the Moon Mission Zone at the Apollo/Saturn V Center, which is accessible via a short bus ride from the main Visitor Complex.

Step inside and see a massive Saturn V rocket, which launched lunar astronauts from Kennedy Space Center in the 1960s and ‘70s. Marvel at an Apollo spacecraft and Alan Shepard’s spacesuit — complete with actual Moon dust. And experience the thrill of the space race by viewing the launch of Apollo 8 from The Firing Room. These and other activities and exhibits are a stunning tribute not just to the unprecedented achievement of putting humans on the moon, but the awe felt throughout the world in that magical moment.

Rub Shoulders With Heroes, Legends … and Rockets

Photos taken by the Social team while out at The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during August 2022.

Discover what it truly means to be a hero at the Heroes & Legends Mission Zone, which features the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® presented by Boeing®. Here, you can learn about American astronauts from Project Mercury to the Space Shuttle Program through today. For that matter, you can get face time with an actual spacefarer by participating in Astronaut Encounter or the more intimate, add-on option of Chat With an Astronaut.

You can also explore the men and women who helped put a man on the Moon at Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo. And no trip to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is complete without a stroll through their famous Rocket Garden, home to rockets used in NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.

Access Restricted Areas — Legally

Kennedy Space Center guide on tour bus

Interested in gaining exclusive access to historic launch sites and operational spaceflight facilities at Kennedy Space Center? You can at the Visitor Complex, and without breaking any laws in the process. Just hop on a KSC Bus Tour, which are included with admission and will take you behind NASA’s gates to see the past, present and future of America’s multi-user spaceport before visiting the legendary Apollo/Saturn V Center.

For a personalized experience, book a KSC Explore Tour, which is available as an optional upgrade to Visitor Complex admission. You’ll be paired with a space expert as you tour the spaceport and make stops along the ways for iconic photographic views.

Still More to Explore

Kennedy Space Center photo taken by freelancer Daniel Kuykendall

In addition to the KSC Visitor Complex’s Mission Zones, each of which takes two or more hours to fully explore, the center has numerous add-on enhancements beyond those mentioned above. They include:

  • Astronaut Training Experience : Train to live and work on Mars through exciting and immersive simulation technology.
  • Mars Base 1 : Travel to Mars and spend the day solving authentic NASA science and engineering challenges.
  • Cosmic Quest : Develop your space-exploration skills with the only live-action gaming experience in the galaxy featuring real NASA missions.

Naturally, KSC Visitor Complex is also a great place to stock up on space-related souvenirs, including those based on all of your favorite NASA mission programs. You can even buy your own NASA jumpsuit! You won’t go hungry during your visit, either, thanks to space-themed eateries to satisfy any cravings, including vegetarian, gluten-free and other healthy choices.

With so many ways to learn, explore and play at KSC Visitor Complex, it’s no wonder why numerous Orlando visitors make it part of their getaways. Blast off for your own adventures during your next visit.

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Content senior manager at Visit Orlando. He’s a native Floridian and longtime Orlandoan who enjoys good food and drink, live entertainment, music, theme parks, comic books, video games, movies, cats, and all the other things that make life worth living.

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NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

day trip to kennedy space centre

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

ThemeParkHipster

17 Spectacular Kennedy Space Center Tips (Your Ultimate Guide)

When you think of the John F. Kennedy Space Center you think of the illustrious history of the space program here in America.

From the first man on the moon to the mission to Mars, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has been a cultural staple for many of us.

This American launch site has been used by NASA for human space flight since December 1968.

Because of this, I thought it would be great to bring you the best tips to conquering your day.

Kennedy Space Center Memorial Fountain. View this area. One of the best Kennedy Space Center tips.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY  DISCLOSURE  FOR MORE INFO.  Which means if you click on certain links, I may receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.

1. Buy Your Kennedy Space Center Tickets Online

I always recommend buying your tickets online for any attraction in Florida.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida with NikkyJ Space Shuttle Atlantis with Rocket Garden and Waffle topped ice cream

I say this because it starts your day off on a good note since you won’t have to wait in the line to purchase your KSC tickets.

Your tickets can be bought on the official website where you’ll be able to print them out at home or pick them up from Will Call at the Visitor Complex.

Kennedy Space Center Bright Orange Ticket Booth

Once you have your printed ticket from home, all you have to do is walk directly to the turnstiles and start your space adventure!

Can I buy tickets at Kennedy Space Center?

Yes you can. However, if you’re going on a busy day, then I recommend purchasing them online first.

Kennedy Space Center Front Gate

How much does it cost to go to Kennedy Space Center?

Single day admission cost:

  • Children $65 (age 3-11)
  • Adults $75 (Ages 12+)
  • Annual Pass $149 (Ages 12+) and $120 (age 3-11)

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2. Know Where to Buy Kennedy Space Center Discount Tickets

The prices on the official website are pretty good, but you may luck up on possible Kennedy Space Center discounts and deals using Groupon.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Space Shuttle Atlantis

Groupon Kennedy Space Center Florida

KSC is pretty good about running great deals, but on Groupon you can find additional excursions to spice up your trip.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Rocket Garden

Ventures such as, the Space Coast Slingshots which will give you the opportunity to explore this beautiful coast of Florida with the wind in your hair!

If you’re vacationing in Orlando and you don’t have a vehicle, you can look up day tours that will take you over to KSC for a small fee.

Recommended: Ultimate Florida Packing List: What to Pack for Your EPIC Trip!

3. Download the App

Map out the day prior to your visit by downloading their app.

This is a great way to make a note of your must do’s and it’s also a wonderful way to help you see and experience as much as you can if you’re only there for a short visit.

Kennedy Space Center App. Download this app. One of the best Kennedy Space Center tips.

Hipster Power Tip: Having the park app will allow you to view the map and get familiar with the layout of the Visitor Complex.

Kennedy Space Center App Features:

  • Available for free in both the App Store  and  Google Play
  • Has the Visitor Complex map in the app
  • Answers your frequently asked questions
  • Has descriptions of the shows and attractions
  • Gives information on guest services, dining and shopping
  • Keeps you updated on rocket launches
  • Allows you to maneuver your way around the Visitor Complex and the Apollo/Saturn V Center

Downloading the app is one of the top Kennedy Space Center tips I wish I knew before my trip.

4. Have the Kennedy Space Center Address Handy

Before you leave your destination, it’s always good to have the address on hand.

Rocket Garden with Christmas Tree Holidays in Space Christmas at Kennedy Space Center Florida on a Cloudy Day

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex address is Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953.

Is Cape Canaveral the same as the Kennedy Space Center?

The Visitor Complex is located in the city of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Therefore, Cape Canaveral is not the same as Kennedy Space Center.

Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!

5. Use the Map to Plan Your Day

It can be overwhelming stepping foot into this incredible visitor complex, that’s why I recommend going over the KSC map before you get there.

Kennedy Space Center Map

Kennedy Space Center Map 2024 and 2025

It will help you:

  • Get familiar when the layout of the Visitor Complex
  • All you to map out your day
  • Plan what time you want to do the bus tour and when you want to have lunch

Get your Kennedy Space Center tickets TODAY on Groupon!

6. Know the Kennedy Space Center Hours

The Visitor Complex opens at 9 a.m. EST every day of the year and closes at 6 p.m. This time can go up to an 8 p.m. closing time, depending on the season.

Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Launch Experience

7. Map Out How to Get from Orlando to Kennedy Space Center

Here are my most basic Kennedy Space Center directions from Orlando.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Space Shuttle Atlantis

If you’re coming from the theme park area or Orlando, then you’ll want to:

  • Get on the FL-528 E from I-4 to FL-3 N/N Courtenay Pkwy in Merritt Island (about a 45-minute drive or 47.5 miles)
  • Take exit 49 from FL-528 E
  • Continue on N Courtenay Pkwy. Drive to Space Commerce Way (about a 10-minute drive…or 8 miles)

Does Kennedy Space Center provide transportation?

The visitor complex does not provide transportation to and from Orlando.

You can use one of the tours mentioned earlier that provides transportation by searching Viator.

8. Be Prepared to Pay for Parking at Kennedy Space Center

The parking lot is adjacent to the Visitor Complex. It will take you about a 5 to 10-minute walk from the lot to the front gate depending on where you parked.

Kennedy Space Center Parking Gate

It was an easy walk for me and a much simpler process than the theme parks.

How much does it cost to park at Kennedy Space Center?

  • Motorcycles – $5.00
  • Automobiles –  $10.00
  • Oversized vehicles, motor homes or RVs –  $15.00

Kennedy Space Center Parking Lot

9. Know Exactly What the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Is

The Visitor Complex is an out-of-this world experience dedicated to showcasing the major accomplishments made through the space program.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida NikkyJ in front of Space Shuttle Atlantis

It is divided into Mission Zones where the attractions and the tours are organized by chronological era.

What to do at Kennedy Space Center

  • Astronaut Encounter
  • Free Bus Tour
  • IMAX Theaters
  • Planet Play
  • Lunch with an Astronaut
  • Rocket Garden
  • Space Shuttle Atlantis Attraction

It is here where you’ll get a hands-on interactive treat as you go through attractions and experiences presenting the many periods of time and achievements.

How long does it take to go through Kennedy Space Center?  

You should expect to spend at least 6 hours at Visitor Complex. I recommend the full day (9 hours) if you truly want to see everything.

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KSC Mission Zones

As mention above, KSC is split into Mission Zones. Let’s go through them all.

Kennedy Space Center Heroes and Legends with Astronauts

Heroes & Legends

This area allows you to learn about the pioneers of NASA’s early space programs along with the famous Rocket Garden.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Astronaut Hall of Fame

It’s one of the newest additions to the Visitor Complex and has an amazing exhibit that walks you through each era of a typical astronaut’s life.

Hipster Power Tip: Be sure to stand on the second row to get a great view of the amazing film that you’ll watch in the second portion of the attraction in the Heroes & Legends building.

There’s even a spectacular U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® for you to explore.

Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden with white and black spaceships. View this area. One of the best Kennedy Space Center tips.

Also, make sure you walk around the majestic Rocket Garden to view the actual rockets of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.

Time needed for Heroes & Legends zone: 30 minutes

Behind the Gates

This area is where you get to see the historic launch sites and working spaceflight facilities. You do this by jumping on the  Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour .

Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Florida Bus Tours and Christmas Decor with Astronaut Toy Soldiers

Hipster Power Tip: Sit on the right side of the bus to get the best views of the tour, including those famous Florida alligators.

Don’t worry about any additional costs, the bus tour is included with your admission.

Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour

Time needed for the Behind the Gates zone: 1.5 hours

Race to The Moon

This is my favorite area of KSC . Once your bus tour of the historic launch sites is over, you’ll be dropped off at the Race to the Moon area.

Kennedy Space Center Apollo White and black rocket.

The bus tour is the only way to get to this area which showcases the July 20, 1969 celebration of when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Mercury Atlas Rocket

This whole section is dedicated to legends of the Apollo era. It is here where you’ll be able to see the actual size of the Saturn V moon rocket!

It’s one of the most breathtaking things to witness.

You’ll also be able to learn more about the Apollo history with real artifacts and interactive games that will blow your mind.

Kennedy Space Center Bright Orange Shuttle Atlantis. View this area. One of the best Kennedy Space Center tips.

Make sure you plan to spend at least one hour inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center, basking in all of the history.

Time needed for the Race to the Moon zone: 2 hours

Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other

My other favorite area of the Visitor Complex takes you on a journey through NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Space Shuttle Atlantis

Outside the Atlantis complex is a 184-foot space shuttle stack, with an external tank and two solid rocket boosters.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Atlantis Shuttle

You actually have the opportunity to revel at the awe-inspiring American icon, shuttle Atlantis.  

The shuttle Atlantis now has a permanent home at the Visitor Complex and you can see it up close!

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Space Shuttle Atlantis

The way the Visitor Complex presents Atlantis to you will send chills up your spine.

So, I will not spoil the big moment for you!

Hipster Power Tip: If you’re brave enough, then experience what an astronaut goes through on an actual shuttle liftoff on the Shuttle Launch Experience . This is a must do attraction!

Kennedy Space Center Astronaut Toilets

This zone also has some amazing hands-on simulation and games to help you truly become an astronaut.

Activities such as:

  • a gigantic slide to mimic a space shuttle landing
  • the opportunity to test your skills at performing a spacewalk
  • hearing stories from the Space Shuttle Program workers
  • exploring modules and microgravity of the International Space Station

Time needed for the Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other zone – 2 hours

NASA Now + Next 

This is the area where the two main IMAX theaters are. Here you can watch Journey to Space 3D  and  Touch the Stars: The Journey Has Begun 3D.

Kennedy Space Center IMAX

The goal of this zone is to teach you the lessons learned of NASA’s past missions and where the space exploration program is going next!

Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Florida Universe Theater

Hipster Power Tip: Be sure to get a photo in front of the Mars Rover Vehicle Navigator®

Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Florida Mars Rover

Get the FULL list for all of the attractions here!

Time needed for the NASA Now and Next zone: 2.5 hours

10. Keep Track of the Kennedy Space Center Launch Schedule

If you’re super luck, you may be able to catch a one-of-a-kind launch experience. There’s nothing like watching an actual rocket launch so close by you.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Rocket Garden

The power of witnessing an actual launch rumbles your soul! No theme park attraction can compare to this world class adventure!

Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden

Kennedy Space Center Rocket Launch Schedule for 2024

Listed below are the rocket launches scheduled for 2024.

Kennedy Space Center Mercury Mission

ULA Delta IV Heavy NROL-70

  • Where:  Space Launch Complex 37 Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
  • Mission: A ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch the NROL-70 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office from space launch complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
  • Learn more here.

Rocket Launch: SpaceX Falcon 9 Eutelsat 36D

  • When:  Spring 2024
  • Where:  Launch Complex 39A Kennedy Space Center
  • Mission: SpaceX will launch a new generation of multi-mission geostationary telecommunications satellite for Eutelsat.

Rocket Launch: ULA Atlas V Boeing Starliner Crewed Flight Test

  • When:  May 2024
  • Where:  Space Launch Complex 41 Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
  • Mission: The Crew Flight Test (CFT) will demonstrate the ability of Starliner and the United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket to safely carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

Hipster Power Tip: Remember that all launch times and dates are subject to change without notice. Be sure not to plan your whole trip around a shuttle launch date as it is always changing.

Kennedy Space Center Launch Viewing Areas

Listed below are the view options for you on your visit to Kennedy Space Center.

Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Florida

LC-39 Observation Gantry

This is the historic area where Apollo astronauts launched to the moon and is the closest viewing area to the launch pads of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Florida (7)

For an additional cost, you’ll get outdoor bleacher seating plus a shaded area if you don’t want to be directly in the sun. The Lc-39 Observation Gantry is 2 to 5.5 miles from launch pads.

Includes: Live launch commentary, snacks and refreshments

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Banana Creek Launch Viewing Area

This viewing area is 5 to 8 miles away from the launch site and is adjacent to the Apollo/Saturn V Center.

Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Florida Space Shuttle Atlantis

A great perk about the Banana Creek location is that if the Apollo/Saturn V Center is open , then you’ll be able enjoy the theaters, dining and shopping experiences inside. Plus, you can view the Saturn V up-close.

Hipster Power Tip: Kennedy Space Center recommends that you bring sun and insect protection for this location.

Main Visitor Complex

Viewing a launch from the Visitor Complex is included with your admission ticket. The viewing area is located next to Space Shuttle Atlantis®, which is 7 miles away from the rocket launch area.

Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Florida Space Shuttle Atlantis

Here you’ll get bleacher and lawn seating, so sun protection is recommended.

Cost is included with your admission ticket . Please keep in mind that all prices mentioned in this guide are subject to change without notice.

11. Stop by Kennedy Space Center Gift Shop

The Space Shop is absolutely incredible!

Kennedy Space Center Gift Shop

I pride myself on leaving theme parks with my money still in my pocket, but not at this Kennedy Space Center Gift Shop.

…and probably not you either.

Kennedy Space Center Astronaut Gear

The newly renovated shop opened on June 29, 2018 and is “The World’s Largest Space Shop” at 15,372 square feet!

Backpack bag Holidays in Space Christmas at Kennedy Space Center Florida on a Cloudy Day

I spent a lot of time walking throughout the massive store filled to the brim with space memorabilia and NASA gear.

There are so many things to see and do inside this interactive shopping adventure such as, walking in the steps of NASA astronauts across the original Apollo 11 gantry located on the second floor.

Kennedy Space Center Gift Shop

You can find the space shop at the center point of the Visitors Complex.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Space Shuttle Gift Shop and Van

Other Places to Shop at Kennedy Space Center:

  • The Right Stuff located at the Apollo/Saturn V Center
  • Shuttle Express ®   located inside Space Shuttle Atlantis®
  • Information (yep, that’s the shop name) is located right at the visitor complex entrance
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12. Try Space Food at Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center offers four restaurants and three snack stands at the Visitor Complex. I will say that the food is not anything to brag about.

Kennedy Space Center Space Food. View this area. One of the best Kennedy Space Center tips.

It’s pretty much your standard amusement park fare, which will hold you over while on your trip.

Kennedy Space Center Restaurants

Hipster Power Tip: There are vegetarian, gluten-free and healthy choices available at all restaurants.

Kennedy Space Center Restaurants and Dining Experiences

  • Dine with an Astronaut – This is one of the key highlights at Kennedy Space Center where you can dine with an astronaut. I wasn’t able to do it, but it is on my must do list for my next visits.
  • Rocket Garden Café – Serves standard breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
  • Moon Rock Café – Offers standard sandwiches and burgers. This café is located in the Apollo/Saturn V building.
  • Orbit Café – Serves salads, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and desserts.
  • Red Rock Grill – Offers hot dogs and beer in an outdoor lunch stand next to Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted.
  • Rocket Fuel Food Truck – Serves snacks and coffee near the entrance of the Visitor Complex.
  • Milky Way – Probably the highlight of my day. Here you can get a delicious waffle covered with all of the tastiest sweet treats your heart can imagine. This is the ice cream shop of the Visitor Complex that serves soda, ice cream and Space Dots ® .
  • Space Dots ® – You can get the famous ice cream dots right next to Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Kennedy Space Center Milky Way Ice Cream Waffle. View this area. One of the best Kennedy Space Center tips.

13. Have Your Kennedy Space Center Itinerary Ready to Go

  • 9:30 a.m. – Arrive at Kennedy Space Center
  • 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. – Explore Heroes and Legends Area
  • 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. – Watch the IMAX 3D space films (be sure to arrive 15 minutes before showtime)
  • 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – Have lunch with an Astronaut (or Explore the Gateway: Deep Space Launch Complex)
  • 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. – Do the Bus Tour and Apollo/Saturn V Center (a must do)
  • 1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Discover the Space Shuttle Atlantis with the Shuttle Launch Experience
  • 3:05 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. – Visit the gift shop
  • 3:30 p.m. to 4:55 p.m. – Get an ice-cream waffle at Milky Way, relax, or revisit your favorite areas
  • 4:55 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. – Take any last-minute photos

I hope you like my one day visit guide. You can read the recommended itineraries from Kennedy Space Center here!

Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Florida Hyperdeck Mission Mars VR

14. Do a Kennedy Space Center Tour

There are a variety of different Kennedy Space Center tours that range from day trips from Orlando or helicopter rides.

Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Florida Gateway building with Christmas tree

Kennedy Space Center with an Airboat Tour

On this tour you’ll get a great view of Kennedy Space Center.

This includes the launch pads area, Visitor’s Complex, Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, and airboat ride up the St. John’s River and so much more! 

 Kennedy Space Center Alligator Nature and Technology Building

You can learn more about this tour here!

Kennedy Space Center Tours from Orlando

Viator also offers a variety of day trip tours from Orlando to the Visitor Complex just in case you don’t have a vehicle on your Disney vacation.

What’s the Best Beach Close to Disney World? Top 9 Florida Beaches Near Disney

15. Know the Best Days to Visit KSC

You may be thinking, “when should I go to Kennedy Space Center?”

Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Florida Starflake's Holiday Voyage Fireworks

The best time to visit KSC is in October, November, December, January, February, or May during the weekday.

What are the Crowd levels?

The worst time to visit Kennedy Space Center is on launch days, on major holidays, during the spring and summer break season.

Kennedy Space Center Astronaut Training

16. Know What to Pack

While preparing for your day at the Visitor Complex, you should know what basic items to bring with you.

  • Disposable Rain Ponchos   or rain jackets
  • Download Kennedy Space Center App
  • Small Backpack
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Simple first aid supplies
  • Small snacks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Downloaded Park Map
  • Hat for sunny days
  • Portable Phone Charger
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Cash/Debit Card
  • Water mist sprayer

Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden Cafe

Is food allowed in Kennedy Space Center?

Per the website , food and beverages packed in small, soft-sided coolers are permitted. Glass bottles or containers are also not permitted.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Waffles topped with Ice Cream and Whipped Cream

Beer is for sale at select locations and no outside alcoholic beverages are permitted.

Are backpacks allowed at Kennedy Space Center?

You are allowed to bring in your own backpack. Just remember that all backpacks and bags will be inspected by security.

What should I wear to Kennedy Space Center?

Lightweight clothing such as shorts, leggings, comfy shoes,  a t-shirt,  a hat, and sunglasses are all perfect for your trip.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida with NikkyJ and Astronaut

17. Know What Hotels are Near Kennedy Space Center

When planning your KSC trip, you’ll need a hotel that’s close to all the Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach action!

Kennedy Space Center Tips with bright orange Atlantis Space Shuttle

There aren’t too many hotels or resorts I can recommend that are near the Visitor Complex, but these are my picks for now.

  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Cape Canaveral – Cocoa Beach
  • Hampton Inn Titusville I-95 Kennedy Space Center

My Final Thoughts and KSC Review

There you have it! My top Kennedy Space Center tips. Overall, I had one of the best days ever visiting KSC.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Florida Space Shuttle Atlantis with Waffle topped with ice cream and whipped cream

Before you decide to go on your own space journey, I want to give you some pros and cons of my visit.

  • Easy layout to navigate
  • Wonderful to view the Atlantis up close
  • Love the tribute to all of the wonderful people of the space program throughout the years
  • The Rocket Garden is visually intoxicating and enchanting
  • A super fun bus tour (line looks long, but goes fast because the buses are large and are constantly going)
  • Lots of indoor attractions ( great for beating the Florida heat)
  • Amazing IMAX 3-D presentations and the NEW Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex
  • The Shuttle simulation is phenomenal
  • Food and drinks are reasonably priced
  • Not too many shaded areas to sit under outside
  • Food is average
  • The bus tour takes out a big chunk of your day
  • No exhibition showing the contribution of Black Americans or women to the space program

Kennedy Space Center NikkyJ

I hope you enjoyed this complete guide to doing Kennedy Space Center like a pro.

Remember to arrive early, explore space, and capture your own adventure!

Have you ever been before? If so, let me know what your favorite memory is in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:

  • 5 Adventurous Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks
  • Why You Should Visit the Alligator Capital of the World: Gatorland
  • How to Find Cheap Flights to Orlando
  • Magic Kingdom for Adults the Complete Guide
  • How to Find a Vacation Home Near Disney World
  • 18 Tips for Going to a Theme Park Alone

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Hoop Dee Doo Revue NikkyJ Dinner Show Disney World. Author bio of theme park expert Nikida Metellus.

About the Author

My name is Nikky. I’m a wife, a mother, a pharmacist turned theme park blogger, USA Today 10Best Contributor , and a writer who loves ALL things amusement park related!

Traveling alone to the parks has changed my life and I want to show how you can create your own solo theme park memories.

Connect with me on Instagram!

(Original Article Date: May 20, 2019/Updated March 29, 2024)

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8 Magical Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

2024 complete guide to hersheypark season pass: new benefits, discounts, and more, 6 thoughts on “17 spectacular kennedy space center tips (your ultimate guide)”.

NikkiJ, these tips are awesome. Thank you!

Glad I could help. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions 🙂

This helped so much. I went so long ago. Much has changed.

I so happy that I could help. I hope you have a wonderful visit. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions 🙂

Thank you so much for your indepth report. I’m going next month and cannot wait. (I don’t know why it took me so many years to plan a visit!). Looking forward to using your advice. Thanks again!!

My pleasure! I hope you had a wonderful time 🙂

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What To Experience On A Day Trip To Kennedy Space Center From Orlando

From real rocket launches to NASA history, astronaut encounters, and space travel, this tour of the Kennedy Space Center is for curious space lovers!

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Take a break from Florida’s theme parks and popular tourist attractions just for one day. Instead of Orlando rollercoasters, beautiful Florida beaches, and the vibrant nightlife of Miami , why not go to infinity and beyond? At the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, that’s precisely what mere mortals can do (well, not literally, but it’s as close as non-astronauts can get to outer space!)

As one of the best things to do in Florida besides amusement parks , this is no ordinary day trip from Orlando. Operated for NASA by Delaware North, this outta-this-world center of intergalactic awe isn’t just one of Florida’s top museums; it’s an astronomical hub here on Earth pioneering the way for deep space travel and a place of discovery and development of cutting-edge space exploration innovations from NASA.

Related: This Is How You Can Budget For Orlando, Depending On Your Itinerary

Open to curious minds and aspiring astronauts to learn about the tremendous vast above and around planet earth (and beyond what’s currently known), the KSC Florida is a spaceport of the future where the public can learn about space, other worlds, travel beyond the stratosphere, and the mesmerizing science that upholds space.

Holding a wealth of mind-blowing journeys, exhibits, and experiences under its roof (though the magic within goes beyond the skies), the Kennedy Space Center has always been one of Florida’s most popular attractions.

Related: Orlando For Cheap: How To Plan An Affordable Vacation

What’s more, this incredible place also holds history in its every nook and cranny, detailing the iconic past of space travel as well as offering visitors the chance to experience what it’s like to be a real astronaut, with space shuttle simulations and virtual space experience delighting those who walk through the spaceship doors.

With so many things to see at Kennedy Space Center, it commands a full day to explore its entirety - and one of the most convenient and immersive ways to enjoy its magnificence is by taking a tour of KSC (details incoming below!)

Anyone who says “no” isn’t in their right mind; the Kennedy Space Center is, quite possibly, one of the top attractions in Florida, taking curious visitors on an adventure through space and time. Packed to the brim with attractions, activities, and exhibits, KSC visitors can enjoy an immersive experience while learning about America’s history of space travel at the Rocket Garden, the Apollo/Saturn V center, and numerous other museums across the vast complex.

Related: The 11 Best Museums In Florida You Need To Visit

  • Kennedy Space Tour Name: Kennedy Space Center Day Trip with Transport from Orlando
  • Tour Price: From $69.99
  • Duration: 10 hours approximately

Book This Tour

Among the best space experiences in the world, this out-of-this-world day trip takes visitors to the epic Kennedy Space Center from Orlando, where they’ll spend hours exploring the entire NASA world-class facility, launchpads, and rocket exhibits like the famous Saturn V. Guests can savor the mind-blowing simulated Shuttle Launch Experience, watch stellar IMAX films, and get the first-hand scoop on real space stories at the Astronaut Encounter experience. If that wasn’t enough, participants also get the chance to upgrade their tour to have lunch with a veteran astronaut, as well as scope out extra sightseeing opportunities.

Kennedy Space Center Highlights: What Does The Tour Include?

  • Kennedy Space Center tour from Orlando with optional upgrades
  • Transportation to and from the Kennedy Space Center via selected Orlando locations
  • Kennedy Space Center tickets included
  • Tour NASA’s launch headquarters and the iconic Shuttle Launch Experience
  • Check out the famed Rocket Garden, Apollo/Saturn V Center, and view two IMAX virtual space films
  • Meet veteran astronauts at the Astronaut Encounter show
  • The choice to upgrade the tour and have lunch with an astronaut
  • The opportunity to upgrade to the Space Pass Plus and visit the Vehicle Assembly Building
  • Local taxes

Food and drinks aren’t included on this Kennedy Space Center tour; however, they’re available to purchase. Also, Rocket Launch tickets may command an extra charge.

Tour participants get up bright and early for a full day swooning over space travel at the Kennedy Space Center. The day starts with a morning pickup from select Orlando locations, and guests pick a comfy seat on the coach and relax on board for the 45 minutes it takes to get to the space center.

Upon arrival at the KSC Visitor Complex, guests are free to explore the place at their leisure. They can hop on a NASA bus for a short journey to one of the many epic exhibits, many of which include:

  • The Early Space Exploration exhibit - showcases stories and artifacts from legendary missions like Gemini (there’s an actual Gemini program capsule on display here!)
  • The Rocket Garden, where the first NASA rockets await as well as those from all eras of space travel (the Children’s Play Dome here is a favorite among little ones and adults alike!)

Related: Disney Vs. Universal Orlando: Comparing Florida’s Best Parks

Launch Into The Apollo/Saturn V Center & The US Astronaut Hall Of Fame

Visitors can also head to the Apollo/Saturn V Center and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, where they can relive the excitement of the Apollo era. This full-on, incredible exhibit celebrates the never-before-achieved feat that shook the entire world: the moment humans first reached the moon.

In this exhibit, tourers also get to relive Neil Armstrong’s iconic moonwalk, touch a moon rock, and get a closer look at the giant Saturn V rocket - indeed, the largest ever rocket built, measuring 63 feet (110 meters) in height!

Discover The Astronaut Encounter Show & The Rocket Garden

Throughout the day, guests can also take a tour of the most famous NASA landmarks, as well as meet a real veteran NASA astronaut at the Astronaut Encounter Show. The epic Rocket Garden with its imposing rockets also awaits, wherein the first rocket to break free from gravity is housed. Another important feature to discover is the Heroes and Legends exhibit, which features the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame and honors NASA’s fallen heroes.

After that, visitors can learn more about what it truly takes to become a Martian astronaut exploring the red planet on the Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted experience.

Watch Out-Of-This-World Space Showings At The IMAX: A Virtual Trip To The International Space Station

Next up, visitors can soak up a feast for the eyes and mind via a complimentary showing or two at the IMAX Theater housed within the complex. Shown on massive five-story screens, the engaging stellar movies are IMAX® A Beautiful Planet and Journey To Space 3D, taking viewers on a virtual journey to the International Space Station.

In addition, all that virtual space exploration will surely ignite questions for real astronauts. During the Astronaut Encounter, real astronauts can answer those burning questions as they discuss their experiences with the public, telling genuine stories of their professional lives and on-the-job ordeals working in space!

Leave Planet Earth And Feel What It’s Like To Be An Astronaut At The Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit

More mind-tingling exhibits entice visitors at the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit, where more than 60 interactive experiences provide a full-sensory space affair invigorating the mind and senses (take heed: this is one of the best things to do at Kennedy Space Center!)

In this part of the trip, visitors get to relish the people, passion, and patriotism backing NASA’s Space Shuttle program, which birthed both the International Space Station and launched the Hubble Space Telescope.

Here, tour participants also savor what it’s like to be a real astronaut; they’ll explore a replica of the ISS and even board a full-size Space Shuttle mock-up and experience an authentic virtual launch into space on the heart-thumping Shuttle Launch Experience. This shuttle experience truly is a wild ride; aspiring astronauts can orbit the Earth on an extraordinary simulation trip that replicates the true sounds, sights, and feelings of a real shuttle launch.

From taking the helm in the shuttle cockpit to experiencing floating in the midst of space, this is one wicked journey unlike anything else - one that visitors do not want to miss.

Related: These Are Orlando’s Coolest Hotels To Book For 2022

Of course, in between exhibits and stops, visitors can take snack breaks at their own expense in the Rocket Garden or the Orbit Cafe. Once the tour is over and the day ends, a coach collects tourers and returns them to their departure point in Orlando - easy and hassle-free.

Related: How To Watch A Space Rocket Launch At The Kennedy Space Center

Additional Tour Options : Visitors can upgrade their tour to have a chatty sit-down lunch with a real astronaut who’s a member of NASA’s Astronaut Corps!

Another option available is the Space Pass Plus , which combines all the experiences above with a guided tour of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), the NASA Causeway, the Operations and Checkout building, and the A/B Camera Stop to view the countdown clock at Press Site - previously a crawler transporter that moved Apollo moon rockets.

The Kennedy Space Center is an immersive, unbelievable place with overwhelming experiences for lovers of space, space travel, and human-space history. Whether people opt for a bus tour or not, a visit is guaranteed to be a memorable day out. However, veterans of the center and visitors who’ve been to the establishment before will always recommend a bus tour; it’s a full-day experience with what seems like a whole universe to explore within the complex. Ultimately, the bus tour conveniently comprises many of the best bits and rarely fails to get five stars in Kennedy Space Center reviews.

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Kennedy Space Center Tours

The guides at Gray Line Orlando are Kennedy Space Center Tour experts! We travel every day to the Space Coast, and our certified tour guides are experts on the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Your guide will provide all the information, tips, and hints you need during the journey from Orlando to Kennedy Space Center. We'll ensure you have a great day and can make the most of your time at Kennedy Space Center. Central pick-up locations are available in Disney, Universal, Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista, and International Drive region for transport to Kennedy Space Center. Or, if you prefer a hotel pick-up, reserve the Small Group VIP Kennedy Space Center Tour .

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An Out-of-this-World Kennedy Space Center Itinerary with Tips

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Visiting science sites around the world is a passion of mine – observatories, aquariums, fossil sites, science museums, and of course, space centers! In the US, there are few you can visit, but by far the most incredible is the Kennedy Space Center outside Orlando, Florida. There’s so much to do there, that you can easily spend a whole day discovering and learning from all their exhibits. In this Kennedy Space Center itinerary, I’ll share a good strategy for tackling the massive Visitor Complex.

Launching in 10…9…8….7…6…5…4…3…2…1! Blast off!

In this 1 day Kennedy Space Center itinerary, read all you need to know before visiting including where to go first, which exhibits to see, what ticket add-ons there are and if you even need them, plus so much more!

Kennedy Space Center Itinerary Hour-by-Hour

Kennedy Space Center (aka KSC) is organized into Mission Zones, which are areas that have exhibits and attractions. The Mission Zones were designed so that as you move through their layout, you’ll explore the US space program in chronological order from Mercury to Shuttle with Gemini and Apollo in between.

In my personal opinion, it’s not exactly clear the order in which you would go through the exhibits to maintain the chronological order. But, it is nice to organize yourself by the Mission Zones, so you know what era you’re currently learning about.

The Mission Zones are Heroes and Legends, Race to the Moon, Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other, NASA Now + Next, and Behind the Gates (reserved for ticket add-ons).

For this Kennedy Space Center itinerary, I’m starting you off with the Apollo missions, which is in the Mission Zone “Race to the Moon.”

@periodicadventures Tickets are $58 per person but you can spend 6 hours there! #kennedyspacecenter #kennedyspacecenterflorida #nasavisitorcenter #thingstodoinorlandowithkids ♬ original sound – Alanna | Organized Travel

9 AM — Arrival and Bus Tour

The Visitor Complex opens every day of the year at 9 am, so it’s best to arrive then to maximize your time and beat the crowds.

Once you’re in, it can be tempting to get distracted by the MANY shiny things including exhibits, shops, and literal rockets and rovers, but I recommend powering through straight to the Bus Tour as this is the best thing to do first!

The Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour is included in your daily admission and takes you behind the scenes around the actual working space center. You’ll see restricted areas and the spaceflight facility where there are current plans to send astronauts into deep space.

One of the most impressive buildings in terms of sheer size is the Vehicle Assembly Building, which can house a full size rocket end-to-end standing up. Your guide, the amazing Emily Calandrelli, will give you some size comparisons that will blow your mind!

The Bus Tour, which is 15 minutes, takes you to the Apollo/Saturn V Center where you get out and learn all about the Race to the Moon.

9:15 AM — Apollo/Saturn V Center (Race to the Moon)

I’ll admit, this was easily my favorite part of the Kennedy Space Center and I full on cried in here a couple times. Once a scientist , always a scientist.

Once your bus arrives, you’ll enter a lobby where you’ll hear about the Race to the Moon with audio and video recordings from news reports at the time and former President Kennedy himself. It’s seriously so moving to hear about how all of America banded together to make the moon landing happen in the Apollo missions! Yes, I this is where I cried first .

The next room is The Firing Room Theater where you get the incredible opportunity to relive the thrill and wonder of Apollo 8, which was the first crewed NASA mission to orbit the moon in 1968 on the Saturn V rocket, which you’ll see soon!

The room features audio and visual safety and engineering checks, the countdown, and the “launch”, which shakes and lights up the room in a stunning and magnificent display. Yepp, you guessed it, I cried, again.

Interior of space launch mission control center with screens showing rocket launches and many control panels in front, this is one of the interactive experiences you'll experience at the Kennedy Space Center

After this 20 minute show, you’ll proceed into the Saturn V Rocket room, which houses one of these massive rockets that were used in every Apollo mission.

The sheer size of this thing is sure to impress every visitor to the Kennedy Space Center. It is afterall, the largest rocket ever flown at 363 feet long (that’s taller than the Statue of Liberty even including the pedestal!).

If that’s not enough (but I mean, it totally is), there’s exhibits surrounding this rocket where you’ll learn even more about the Apollo missions including who crewed each one, what the goals were, and see relevant artifacts.

Saturn V rocket view from the back with five engine exhausts in a large warehouse museum building in Florida, as part of the Apollo Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center

Some exhibits not to miss in here include Ad Adstra Per Aspera, a dedication to the fallen astronauts of the Apollo 1 mission, Moonscape, which is a recreated scene of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on the moon including an authentic Lunar Module 9, and Path to the Moon, showcasing the technology responsible for the astronauts’ safety.

There’s also an interesting exhibit on the Fisher Space Pen , which is a specially designed pen that doesn’t rely on gravity to write. Instead, it uses a pressurized ink cartridge that allows it to even write underwater!

Be sure to take your time here as there really is so much to see in every corner, like the People’s Moon, a digital art piece where you can take your photo and add it to a large moon comprised of a ton of visitors’ photos.

When you’re done here, you’ll hop back on the bus to return to the main Visitor Complex.

Allow 2 hours to explore the Apollo/Saturn V Center fully and don’t miss the garden outside.

Woman smiling under the Saturn V rocket in a museum complex

11:30 AM — Lunch

Believe it or not, there are 4 dining options for full meals at the Kennedy Space Center Complex.

We went to the Orbit Café, where they served burgers, sandwiches, salads, and pizza. The food itself was actually pretty good, especially for a quick service, almost theme park-esque spot.

Other options include Space Bowl Bistro, where they have build your own noodle or quinoa bowls and acai bowls, Moon Rock Café, which is in the Apollo/Saturn V Center (you’d eat there before taking the bus back), and Red Rock Grill, a lunch stand serving hot dogs and fries.

Optional ticket add-on: Chat with an Astronaut >> Speak with an astronaut and ask them all your pressing questions about living and working in space. It’s offered twice daily in the morning and afternoon ( ~ 10 am and 2 pm), where each ticket comes with select food offerings, an alcoholic drink for adults, and commemorative gift.

12:30 PM – Space Shuttle: Atlantis (Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other)

Get up close to an actual space shuttle, the Atlantis, and learn all about the space shuttle program. These ships transport astronauts to and from space and act as both a rocket and glider!

In this exhibit, you’ll learn about the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, and the inventions made for space that are now used here on Earth ( I LOVED this exhibit! ). Also in this building is the Shuttle Launch Experience, astronaut training simulators, and memorial to the astronauts who lost their lives on the Challenger and Columbia shuttles.

Allow an hour and a half for this building.

Exterior of the Atlantis Space Shuttle exhibit building

2:00 PM – Ice Cream Break

All this space stuff can certainly work up your appetite. Not to mention the Florida heat always warrants an ice cream break.

Pop into Milky Way, the one stop ice cream shop for a scoop of ice cream, milkshake, or Space Dots, which is flash frozen ice cream. You can also get Space Dots from an independent shop right outside the Atlantis building!

2:30 PM — Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex (NASA Now + Next)

This building houses many exhibits that showcase the present and future of space exploration. You’ll see capsules, spaceplanes, and boosters used in recent missions and some interactive mockups. For example, there’s a full-scale space habitat of that which orbits the moon. You can step inside and see the incredible use of space!

Also in this building is Spaceport KSC is a motion theater ride that transports you to space destinations. You’ll experience one of four journeys and one experience is included in your admission ticket . If you’re running short on time, I’d personally skip this one.

Woman sitting in a pilot's seat for a space shuttle

3:30 PM – Journey to Mars (NASA Now + Next)

Don’t miss the small but mighty Journey to Mars exhibit where you’ll see actual Mars rovers and learn all about their findings on their journeys.

They also have great displays and interactive exhibits so you can learn about current NASA plans and missions including Mars, the Moon, and beyond!

Also, while you’re on a Mars kick, don’t miss MRVN (aka the Mars Rover Vehicle Navigator), which is the newest Mars rover concept vehicle that looks straight out of an action movie!

new prototype a Mars rover vehicle to be used for future missions

4:00 PM – Heroes and Legends

This entire section is dedicated to heroes, legends, pioneers, and incredible astronauts and is comprised of two main attractions – the US Astronaut Hall of Fame and Rocket Garden.

You can certainly spend the rest of your day in these two exhibits.

In the Rocket Garden, walk among literal rockets from NASA’s Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, which not only are a testament to the incredible rockets but those who crafted, piloted, and crewed them!

Exterior of Heroes and Legends US Astronaut Hall of Fame presented by Boeing, right by the entrance to the Space Center

The US Astronaut Hall of Fame isn’t simply a display of names and photos, it’s an inspiring journey about what it takes to make a hero and how we define a hero. When you see the inductees, you’ll have a greater appreciation for their contributions to NASA space programs and their qualities that make them heroes.

Spot astronauts like Sally Ride, John Glenn, and Mae C. Jemison.

Also, in this area is It’s a Matter of Fact show, presented by the S.T.E.A.M. team giving visitors a chance to learn more through fun experiments!

Astronaut Hall of Fame display of rows of astronaut photos with their mission patches below where Sally Ride is on the far right, one of the many sights to see in the Heroes and Legends Mission Zone at the Kennedy space Center

* 5:00 PM – IMAX and Space Mirror Memorial

Depending on what time of year you visit, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex may close at 5 pm or 6 pm. If it closes at 6 pm, or if you find you have more time, I recommend filling it with an IMAX presentation and a visit to the Space Mirror Memorial.

IMAX films now playing are Deep Sky with images from NASA’s Webb Telescope and The Last Man on the Moon about Eugene Cernan and his story of the challenges returning home as an astronaut. See the daily film schedule when entering the complex. Your KSC ticket comes with an IMAX showing, so no extra ticket purchase required.

The Space Mirror Memorial is a large sheet of black granite with the names of those astronauts lost to space missions including Apollo 1, STS-51L Challenger, and STS-107 Columbia. The memorial is in the back of the complex behind the Orbit café.

Replica of the Hubble Space telescope near the Atlantis space shuttle at the Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center Tips for Visiting

When to arrive.

To beat some of the late-morning/afternoon crowds, I recommend arriving first thing in the morning when Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens at 9 am. Not to mention it takes a full day to explore the Kennedy Space Center to the fullest, so not a minute to lose!

Your ticket must be used on the day you selected when purchasing, but there is no set time window, so you can show up whenever on that day.

When I arrived 10 minutes before opening, there were massive lines queueing up, but they moved quickly and the morning crowd dispersed, so it wasn’t really that crowded at all. So, even if it seems crowded in the morning, I stand by arriving first thing in the morning.

Particularly, this will trickle into your first experiences at the Visitor Complex, so you’ll get to experience some areas without many people at all.

Entrance to Kennedy Space Center with large fountain wall, NASA globe, and rocket shuttle in the background

Where is the Kennedy Space Center?

Address: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL

Kennedy Space Center is adjacent to Cape Canaveral and just an hour from Orlando .

When you are navigating to it, be sure to enter “Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex” into your GPS. Leaving out the Visitor Complex will take you to NASA’s area of operations, which is restricted.

How do you get there from Orlando?

From Orlando you want to drive east from the city center, whether on FL-528 E or State Route 50 E. Eventually, you’ll cross over the NASA Causeway Bridge and practically be there. There will be signs as you get closer helping you navigate to the parking lot.

view across the lake of Jurassic Park discovery center, VeliciCoaster, and Hogwarts Castle on a cloudy day

Is parking free?

Unfortunately, not. Parking is $10 per car.

Can you get there via public transportation?

Also, unfortunately, not. There are guided tours that include transportation to and from hotels in Orlando, which you can schedule with the company.

How much does it cost to visit the Kennedy Space Center?

Tickets are pretty steep at $75 for adults and $65 for children ages 3-11 not including taxes, fees, or add-ons.

What’s included in your ticket?

Luckily, A LOT. You get entry to the visitor complex, bus tour with access to behind the scenes areas and the Apollo/Saturn V Center, all exhibits on the main campus in the main Mission Zones, S.T.E.A.M. shows and interactive carts, IMAX Theater, Shuttle Launch Experience, Spaceport KSC theater, astronaut training simulators, Astronaut Encounter show at Universe Theater, and more!

Astronaut's space suit on display at the space center in Florida

Ticket Add-Ons

Given that quite a bit is included in your ticket, here’s what is not included and is a ticket add-on for an additional price.

Chat with an Astronaut allows you a chance to speak with an astronaut about their experience over light food and refreshments. It’s offered twice daily. Tickets are $50 per person.

Kennedy Space Center Explore Tour is an in depth behind the scenes tour that allows you to get out of the bus to take photos and gives you access to a space expert for a guide. Tickets are $25 per person.

Fly with an Astronaut is an even more exclusive behind the scenes tour with an astronaut. You’ll eat lunch with them, try out the Shuttle Launch Experience, and take a guided tour. It’s not offered every day, so check the calendar and ticket checkout for your options.

For a unique add-on, Astronaut Training Experience is for you! You’ll participate in immersive simulation training to live and work on Mars.

ATX Training Stages allow you to try the Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) at a fraction of the time and cost if you don’t have the time or budget to opt for the full program.

Mars Base 1 allows you to live and work for the day there solving science and engineering challenges. This is also not always available, so check their ticketing site for updates.

Finally, you can add in a photography pass, called Astropass , which includes all your digital photos from locations throughout the complex. This add-on costs $14 and only one is required per family or group.

Is it worth the money?

Yes, 100% yes. I absolutely LOVED my time here. Not only are these exhibits so incredibly well done, but there’s enough to fill an entire day and then some!

Given my experience at Johnson Space Center and the Jet Propulsion Lab, I can confidently say, this one does it best for visitors. Not to say the others aren’t worthwhile, but given the high ticket price, let me assure you it’s worth it!

couple posing in front of the Atlantis space shuttle  on display

Can you see an actual rocket launch?

If there is a launch scheduled, yes you can see it from the KSC Visitor Center. However, to see it from the designated Launch Locations, you’ll need to purchase a separate ticket for entry to that specific location.

Some locations include the North Atlantis Lawn (behind the Atlantis exhibit), Banana Creek Viewing Area (adjacent to the Apollo/Saturn V Center), and LC-39 Observatory Gantry.

Alternatively, you can view rocket launches from Cape Canaveral National Seashore, which is what I did. It wasn’t too crowded and using the Launch Console app made orienting myself easy to be sure I was facing the launch!

@periodicadventures Is this on your bucket list? #travelbucketlist2022 #bucketlistexperience #rocketlaunch #capecanaveralflorida ♬ Space Song – Beach House

Is one day enough at Kennedy Space Center?

Yes and no. I think for most visitors, you’ll get your money’s worth in just one day. You can see the majority of exhibits, if not all of them in just one day.

If you have multiple days, a 2-day ticket is only $14 more and will allow you to take it slow and be sure you don’t miss anything.

While I think 2 days is certainly nice, it’s not necessary and for most of us, we have plenty of other things to do in Orlando like the theme parks to tend to, so one day is enough!

Mars Rovers at the Kennedy Space Center on display in the Journey to Mars exhibit

How much time do you need at Kennedy Space Center?

I’ve seen questions if 3 hours or 5 hours is enough and honestly, I truly think you need the full day to experience Kennedy Space Center.

The Bus Tour with the Apollo/Saturn V Center alone takes 2 hours and that’s not even the main complex. With the other major exhibits including Atlantis, Gateway, and Heroes and Legends, you need the full day.

If you have kids, a full day might be too much. Luckily throughout the complex, there are low sensory areas as well as a play area, called Planet Play, where kids can get some energy out and adults can enjoy coffee or an adult beverage.

Used command capsule from an Apollo mission on display in a space museum

What is the best KSC tour?

This depends on your interest level and budget, but honestly, I think the general admission ticket is best for most of us.

Sure, as a scientist, I’d love to add on all the behind-the-scenes tours and chats with astronauts, but every thing you add on is another activity on your itinerary to take away from the exhibits. They’re already so well curated that you don’t need a special tour or add-on to have a great time!

If it’s your first and/or only time visiting, opt for the general admission ticket and don’t miss the Bus Tour first thing.

If it’s a return visit, then I recommend looking into the specialty tours and add-ons.

If you want a guided tour from Orlando, that’s an option, too. Although I haven’t participated in it, this tour comes highly recommended.

Visiting Orlando? Check out these other posts:

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  • Best snacks at Universal Orlando
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  • Ultimate guide to Disney walls with maps
  • Most magical things to do in Harry Potter World

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Read this out-of-this-world Kennedy Space Center itinerary for tips on how to spend your day at the space center in Florida with information on when to arrive, which tickets to buy, how much it costs, and more!

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Alanna Koritzke

Recent PhD graduate and hyper-planner of Periodic Adventures, my goal is to share travel inspiration, budget tips, detailed guides, and fun travel stories!

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day trip to kennedy space centre

Wow, it definitely sounds like the type of place that I’ll truly enjoy. I feel like spending a full day here will be enough in a way there seems to be a lot of things to explore and see, which definitely complements the idea of visiting Walt Disney World or Universal Studios the next day! 😀

day trip to kennedy space centre

It’s definitely a welcome itinerary change from the theme parks! Space is so cool!

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Kennedy space center visitor complex is an out-of-this-world destination not to be missed.

Welcome to the home of One Small Step for Man. In simple terms, the Kennedy Space Center is one of the most essential – and thrilling – attractions in Florida, and planning a visit during your time in Orlando is a must-do.

Our guide to Real Florida Adventures Kennedy Space Center Tours

The Kennedy Space Center offers the past, present and future of the space program and puts visitors front and center in the whole experience like never before.

Seeing is believing, and you will believe you have been transported to the cutting edge of space exploration through a series of hands-on exhibits, movies, and presentations, including a daily Astronaut Encounter with one of the modern heroes of NASA’s operations.

There is SO much to see here, you will definitely need all day to take it all in and a Real Florida Adventures Kennedy Space Center Tour is the perfect way to indulge your inner astronaut! All tour options included an experienced guide and return transportation from Orlando (approximately 60 miles away).

There are four tours to choose from:

  • Real Florida Adventures #1 Kennedy Space Center Tour  - Enjoy an action-packed visit to the Kennedy Space Center including return transport from Orlando and the services of a professional guide.
  • Real Florida Adventures Kennedy Space Center with Airboat - Combine your Kennedy Space Center Adventure Tour with the thrills of an airboat ride and the chance to enjoy some of the real, natural Florida.
  • Real Florida Adventures Kennedy Space Center Transport Only - A great option for those that already have a Kennedy Space Center Ticket and would prefer not to drive from Orlando to Kennedy Space Center.

Pick-up Time & Schedule:

  • Margaritaville Resort at 7:15am (Banquet and Event Entrance, 8000 Fins Up Circle, Kissimmee FL 34747)
  • Golden Corral Restaurant LBV at 7.30am (8707 Vineland Ave, Orlando, FL 32821)
  • Orlando Star Flyer at Icon Park at 8am (8265 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819)

Around 12 hours in total.

Real Florida Adventures Kennedy Space Center Tours Reviews

Average 4.7 out of 5.

Fantastic being dropped and collected at the door.

Trusted Customer reviewed Kennedy Space Center with Transportation 13 Jan, 2020

As before. I have already answered this question

Clive Lockyer reviewed Kennedy Space Center with Transportation 19 Dec, 2019

Had a good tour driver was very good bus on time too

Katrina Salter reviewed Kennedy Space Center with Transportation 08 Dec, 2019

Very good, guide on the tour was excellent

Russell Tremain reviewed Kennedy Space Center with Transportation 26 Nov, 2019

Trusted Customer reviewed Kennedy Space Center with Transportation 25 Nov, 2019

View all 37 customer reviews

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Things to do at the Kennedy Space Center

T he Kennedy Space Center is a must visit attraction for anyone interested in space exploration and the history of NASA and there are plenty of other things to do at the Kennedy Space Center .

Whether you're interested in nature, history, or just having fun, there's something for everyone.

This post may contain affiliate links which means we receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Located just a few miles from the Kennedy Space Center, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful and peaceful nature reserve that's home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Visitors can hike, bike, or drive through the refuge, and there are plenty of opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife viewing.

Canaveral National Seashore

The Canaveral National Seashore is another great place to experience the natural beauty of the Space Coast. This 24-mile stretch of undeveloped beach is home to sea turtles, manatees, and a wide variety of shorebirds. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, fish, or just relax and enjoy the scenery.

Astronaut Memorial Planetarium & Observatory

Located on the Eastern Florida State College campus in nearby Cocoa, the Astronaut Memorial Planetarium & Observatory is a great place to learn more about astronomy and space exploration.

Visitors can watch live planetarium shows, observe the night sky through telescopes, and learn about the history of spaceflight.

Brevard Zoo

Located in Melbourne, just a short drive from the Kennedy Space Center, the Brevard Zoo is a great place to see a wide variety of animals from around the world.

The zoo features exhibits on Florida wildlife, African wildlife, and animals from the Americas, as well as a large collection of birds.

Cocoa Beach

No trip to the Space Coast is complete without a visit to Cocoa Beach, one of Florida's most popular beach destinations.

Visitors can swim, surf, fish, or just relax and soak up the sun. There are also plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to explore in the area.

Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour

While there are plenty of things to see and do near the Kennedy Space Center, the center itself is definitely worth a visit. One of the best ways to experience the centre is by taking the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour.

The bus tour takes visitors on a guided tour of the centre, including stops at the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the launch pads, and the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Visitors can also see the Space Shuttle Atlantis and learn about the history of NASA and the U.S. space program.

Overall, the Kennedy Space Center and the surrounding area offer a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you're interested in history, nature, or space exploration, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

The post Things to do at the Kennedy Space Center appeared first on The Rebel Chick .

"That was amazing!" Delta IV Heavy wows in its fiery farewell launch from Cape Canaveral

day trip to kennedy space centre

After waiting almost two weeks , the Delta IV Heavy launched on its farewell flight Tuesday , giving spectators one final show. The wait, for many, was worth it.

As the rocket rose into the sky, cheers, possibly some tears, erupted at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. It was the rumble from the massive rocket's triple core that both surprised and thrilled most spectators.

This performance came after a March 28 launch attempt scrubbed during a weather hold at T-4 minutes. On that particular day, spectators sat on the lawn outside the Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit at the Visitor Complex with mixed emotions. As the large screen showing the live steam flashed the word “SCRUB”, looks of confusion quickly turned into sighs of disappointment.

Tuesday felt altogether different.

This “most metal” of rockets wowed spectators with its farewell performance just before 1 p.m from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's Launch Complex 37. As it rose into the sky, the crowd clapped and cheered until the Delta IV Heavy slipped into the clouds and was out of view . The secretive mission was for the National Reconnaissance Office.

Catch the next Florida launch: Is there a launch today? Upcoming rocket launch schedule for SpaceX, ULA, NASA in Florida

Delta IV Heavy rocket launch day

As the morning hours inched closer to launch time, bright sunshine and blue skies graced the area over Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Space enthusiasts who wished to see the last Delta fly, as well as visitors who were curious about what all the hype was about, gathered outside the Space Shuttle Atlantis building and the Apollo/Saturn V Center.

Earlier that morning, Tory Bruno, the CEO of United Launch Alliance, the maker of the Delta IV Heavy, had tweeted “Feeling like a good day to go to space”.

Crowds watched the screens broadcasting a live stream and looked skyward in anticipation. As the countdown approached T-0, many pulled out their cell phones to record the moment.

Delta IV Heavy launch does not disappoint

Michael Gratz, 49, and his son, William Gratz, 11, were in Florida on vacation from the United Kingdom. Gratz works as a chef, and wanted to spend time with his son. Their plan was initially to head to Universal Studios, but William wasn't feeling up to it.

William, a fifth-grader, had never seen a rocket, and said he didn't know what to expect.

"I thought that was amazing," Gratz said as he stood with his son after the launch. "To see it, and then hear it so much later on, I thought that was really cool."

William agreed: "I thought it was really cool, especially because a minute after it launched there was this big boom."

Michaela Fuchs, 35, was on a vacation with her parents, Ingrid and Johann Fuchs, who are visiting from Germany. Fuchs grew up in Germany, but has since moved to North Carolina to work in the field of nephrology.

Fuchs recalls her parents taking her on vacation to Kennedy Space Center decades ago when she was still a child. Having such a fond memory of that family vacation, Fuchs decided to bring her parents to the Visitor Complex during their visit. They didn't see a launch back in the day, but this visit, they got lucky.

Not only did they catch the SpaceX Starlink launch on Sunday evening, but they also saw the last ever Delta IV Heavy. She described the rumbling sound of the launch as "spectacular."

Read the recap of the launch day: Delta IV Heavy's final fiery liftoff sends huge rocket into retirement from Cape Canaveral

Meanwhile, Joan Holtz from West Palm was leaving the site with her lively travel group. The group just happened to be in the area when the launch was happening.

"I thought it was fabulous!" Holtz said, reflecting on the launch. She told FLORIDA TODAY that she was not surprised by the delay in the rumble reaching the audience, who were sitting miles away at a safe distance. With light traveling faster than sound, spectators saw the rocket minutes before hearing the powerful rumbling of the monster rocket.

After 63 years of payload service, the Delta family of rockets now joins the history books.

Brooke Edwards is a Space Reporter for Florida Today. Contact her at [email protected] or on X: @brookeofstars.

Orlando Sentinel

Science | Space Coast launch schedule

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Upcoming missions from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's Dragon spacecraft is launched on NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station on Thursday, March 2, 2023, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Space Coast set a new launch record in 2023 with 72 orbital missions from either Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The pace of launches could ramp up by the end of 2024 to a near twice-weekly rate with as many as 111 missions possible.

Check back for the latest information on upcoming launches.

By The Numbers:

2024: 25 Space Coast launches in 2024 (updated April 9) | 17 from Cape Canaveral, 8 from KSC | 23 from SpaceX (23 Falcon 9s), 2 from ULA (1 Vulcan, 1 Delta IV Heavy) | 2 human spaceflight ( Ax-3 , Crew-8 )

2023: 72 Space Coast launches in 2023 | 59 from Cape Canaveral, 13 from KSC | 68 from SpaceX (63 Falcon 9s, 5 Falcon Heavy), 3 from United Launch Alliance (1 Delta IV Heavy, 2 Atlas V), 1 from Relativity Space | 3 human spaceflights ( Crew-6 , Ax-2 , Crew-7 )

Details on past launches can be found at the end of file.

April 5: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-47 mission with 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 5:12 a.m. The first-stage booster flew for the 14th time landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas downrange in the Atlantic. It was the 275th recovery of a Falcon 9 booster for SpaceX. Read more .

April 7: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the the Bandwagon-1 mission from Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39-A at 7:16 p.m, The first-stage booster flew for the 14th time and made a recovery landing at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Landing Zone 1. The 11 satellites on board are flying to a mid-inclination orbit. This is the first of a new type of rideshare program flying to that orbit that augments SpaceX’s Transporter program that flies to SSO. Read more .

April 9 (Delayed from March 28): United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy on the NROL-70 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37 at 12:53 p.m. This was the final Delta IV Heavy rocket launch ever, and last of any Delta rocket, which has been flying for more than 60 years. The Space Force has one more launch on a ULA Atlas V rocket before future missions transition to ULA’s new Vulcan Centaur. Read more .

April 10: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-48 mission carrying 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 targeting a 12:04 a.m. liftoff during a window that runs through 3:30 a.m. and backup options on Thursday beginning at 12:18 a.m. Space Launch Delta 45’s weather squadron forecasts a 90% chance for good conditions. The first-stage booster is making its second flight with a planned recovery landing downrange on the droneship Just Read the Instructions.

April 17: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-51 mission launching from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39-A during a four-hour window from 5:24-9:24 p.m. Backup window on April 18 from 4:59-8:49 p.m.

May6: (Delayed from July 21, 2023; April 22, 2024): Boeing CST-100 Starliner atop United Launch Alliance Atlas V from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 on the Crew Flight Test (CFT) carrying NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams on an eight-day mission to the International Space Station followed by a parachute-and-airbag-assisted ground landing in the desert of the western United States. Read more .

TBD: United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur on Sierra Space Dream Chaser test flight from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. Read more .

June 25: SpaceX Falcon Heavy on its 10th launch ever with payload of the GOES-U satellite for the NOAA from Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39-A.

No earlier than mid-August 2024: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Crew-9 mission. Crew is NASA astronauts Zena Cardman making her first flight and the 10th of 11 members of the Turtles to fly to space; pilot Nick Hague making his third flight including one mission abort from Russia, mission specialist Stephanie Wilson, who flew three times on Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-121, STS-120, and STS-131 logging 42 days in space, and Roscomos cosmonaut and mission specialist Aleksandr Gorbunov, making his first trip to space.

October 2024: SpaceX Falcon Heavy on the Europa Clipper mission to travel 1.8 billion miles to investigate Jupiter’s moon Europa to determine whether there are places below Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, that could support life. The mission’s detailed investigation of Europa will help scientists better understand the astrobiological potential for habitable worlds beyond our planet.

No earlier than October 2024: Axiom Space was awarded the right to fly Axiom-4. No crew has been announced, but NASA requires it to be commanded by a former NASA astronaut with experience on the space station such as the Ax-1, Ax-2 and Ax-3 commanders. The commercial flight brings four crew for a short stay on the ISS. This mission is targeting a 14-day stay, and will fly up with one of the SpaceX Crew Dragons. The launch date is dependent on spacecraft traffic to the ISS and in-orbit activity planning and constraints that have to be coordinated with NASA.

UPCOMING: TBD IN 2024

TBD, early 2024: United Launch Alliance Atlas V on USSF 51 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41.

TBD, Summer 2024 (Delayed from summer 2023): Polaris Dawn mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9 topped with the Crew Dragon Resilience from KSC’s Launch Pad 39-A. The private orbital mission will bring billionaire Jared Isaacman to space for a second time after 2021′s Inspiration4 mission. It’s the first of up to three planned Polaris missions, and will feature a tethered spacewalk. Also flying are Scott Poteet, given the title of mission pilot, specialist Sarah Gillis, and specialist and medical officer Anna Menon. Both Gillis and Menon are SpaceX employees. Read more .

TBD, 2nd half of 2024: United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur on first of four planned Department of Defense mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. Dependent on ULA completing both Certification 1 and Certification 2 flights.

TBD, 2nd half of 2024: United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur on second of four planned Department of Defense mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41.

TBD, 2nd half of 2024: United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur on third of four planned Department of Defense mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41.

TBD, 2nd half of 2024: United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur on fourth of four planned Department of Defense mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41.

TBD: First launch of Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket. On the Space Force manifest for September 2024, according to Space Force officials.

November 2024: SpaceX Falcon Heavy flying Astrobotic’s Griffin lunar lander as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. It will include NASA’s Artemis lunar rover, the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, which will explore the relatively nearby but extreme environment of the moon in search of ice and other potential resources. This mobile robot will land at the south pole of the moon in late 2024 on a 100-day mission. The critical information it provides will teach us about the origin and distribution of water on the moon and help determine how to harvest the moon’s resources for future human space exploration.

December 2024: Intuitive Machines IM-2 mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 with the company’s second Nova-C lander featuring NASA’s PRIME-1 drill, to land a drill and mass spectrometer near the south pole of the moon in order to demonstrate the feasibility of in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and measure the volatile content of subsurface samples. Also flying is the Lunar Trailblazer, a mission selected under NASA’s Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration (SIMPLEx) program, a small satellite designed to provide an understanding of the form, abundance, and distribution of water on the moon, as well as the lunar water cycle.

UPCOMING: TBD IN 2025

TBD, no earlier than early 2025: Boeing Starliner-1 on ULA Atlas V from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Space Launch Complex 41. NASA astronauts Scott Tingle and Mike Fincke will be commander and pilot, respectively. This Starliner previously flew on Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. Depending on data from CFT mission, this could become SpaceX Crew-10 mission.

September 2025: NASA Artemis II mission to send four crew on 8-day orbital mission to the moon from KSC’s Launch Pad 39-B. Read more .

UPCOMING: TBD IN 2026

September 2026: NASA Artemis III mission to send four crew on lunar landing mission to the moon from KSC’s Launch Pad 39-B. Read more .

LAUNCHED IN 2024

Jan. 3: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Ovzon 3 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 6:04 p.m. This was the first launch of 2024. The 3,968-pound Ovzon 3 satellite is the first privately funded and developed Swedish geostationary satellite ever to be launched, headed for a geostationary transfer orbit where it will then propel itself to its geostationary orbit over 3-4 months at 59.7 degrees east at 22,236 miles altitude. The first-stage booster flew for the 10th time with a recovery landing at Canaveral’s Landing Zone 1. Read more .

Jan. 7: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-35 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 5:35 p.m. The first-stage booster made its 16th flight having previously flown on two crewed and two cargo missions to the International Space Station among others. It managed its recovery landing downrange on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas. Read more .

Jan. 8 (Delayed from May 4, Dec. 24-26): First-ever launch of United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur on Certification-1 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 at 2:18 a.m. Primary payload was commercial company Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander headed to the moon. Also flying will be another human remains payload for Celestis Inc., this time brining the ashes of more than 200 people to space including “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and actor James Doohan who played “Scotty” on the TV series. Read more .

Jan. 14 (Delayed from Jan. 13): SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-37 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 with 23 Starlink satellites at 8:52 p.m. The first-stage booster flew its 12th mission and with a recovery landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas downrange in the Atlantic. This was the fourth launch from the Space Coast in 2024. Read more .

Jan. 18 (Delayed from Jan. 17): SpaceX Falcon 9 with a Crew Dragon Freedom for Axiom Space’s Axiom-3 mission launched at 4:49 p.m. from KSC’s Launch Pad 39-A. The crew includes one astronaut each from Italy, Turkey and Sweden while the mission is led by Axiom’s chief astronaut Michael López-Alegría who is making his sixth trip to space. The customers are Italian Air Force Col. Walter Villadei, who will act as pilot. In the two mission specialist roles are Alper Gezeravcı of Turkey and ESA project astronaut Marcus Wandt of Sweden. All three have served in their respective nations’ air forces. The commercial flight brings four crew for a short stay on the ISS. This mission is targeting a 14-day stay with docking planned for Saturday at 5:15 a.m. The first-stage booster made a landing at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Landing Zone 1. Read more .

Jan. 28: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-38 mission with 23 Starlink satellites at 8:10 p.m. liftoff on a southerly trajectory from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39-A. The first-stage booster made its 18th flight, with past missions including the crewed flights of Inspiration4 and Ax-1, and had a recovery landing downrange in the Atlantic on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas. Read more .

Jan. 30: SpaceX Falcon 9 with Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft on the NG-20 mission to resupply the International Space Station at12:07 p.m.. This was the first ISS launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40, which SpaceX has been redeveloping to support future crewed missions in addition to KSC’s Launch Pad 39-A. This was the first of at least three SpaceX flights of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft as part of a deal after its 10-year run of launches atop Antares rockets ended with the Aug. 1 launch from Wallops Island, Virginia because of issues with Russian- and Ukrainian-made rocket engines and first stage parts that are being redeveloped with Firefly Aerospace for a future Antares rocket not expected until at least 2025. Following launch, the space station’s Canadarm2 will grapple Cygnus no earlier than Thursday, Feb. 1, and the spacecraft will attach to the Unity module’s Earth-facing port for cargo unloading by the Expedition 70 crew. The first-stage booster made its 10th flight and returned for a touchdown at Canaveral’s Landing Zone 1. Read more .

Feb. 8 (Delayed from Feb. 6, 7): NASA’s Plankton, Aerosol Cloud Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 1:33 a.m. PACE will advance the assessment of ocean health by measuring the distribution of phytoplankton, tiny plants and algae that sustain the marine food web, as well as clouds and aerosols in the atmosphere. The first-stage booster flying for the fourth time made a recovery landing at Canaveral’s Landing Zone 1. Read more .

Feb. 14: A SpaceX Falcon 9 on the USSF-124 mission launching from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 5:30 p.m. Payloads included two satellites for the Missile Defense Agency to track hypersonic missiles and four more satellites for the Tranche 0 constellation for the Space Development Agency. The first-stage booster flew for the seventh time with a recovery landing at Canaveral’s Landing Zone 2. Read more .

Feb. 15 (Delayed from Nov. 14, Jan. 12, Feb. 14): SpaceX Falcon 9 for the Intuitive Machines IM-1 mission with the company’s Nova-C lunar lander Odysseus from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39-A at 1:05 a.m. This could end up being the first NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) mission to land on the moon after the failure of Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander. The IM-1 has a suite of six NASA payloads as part of a CLPS delivery and another six privately organized payloads. Landing would take place Feb. 22. Read more .

Feb. 20: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Merah Putih 2 mission, a communications satellite for Telkom Indonesia, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 at 3:11 p.m. into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. This was the 11th launch from the Space Coast in 2023 and 300th successful Falcon 9 launch since its debut in 2010, having only had one mid-launch failure in 2015. This was the 17th launch of the first stage booster, and it made a recovery landing downrange on the Just Read the Instructions droneship in the Atlantic Ocean. Read more .

Feb. 25 (delayed from Feb. 24): SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-39 mission sending up 24 Starlink satellites launching from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 5:06 p.m. This was the 12th launch from the Space Coast in 2024. The first-stage booster for the mission flew for the 13th time and made a recovery landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas downrange in the Atlantic. Read more .

Feb. 29: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-40 mission with 23 Starlink satellites launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 10:30 a.m. This was the 13th launch from the Space Coast in 2024. The first-stage booster for the mission flew for the 11h time and made recovery landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions downrange in the Atlantic. Read more .

March 3 (delayed from Feb. 22, 28, March 1, 2): SpaceX Crew-8 on Falcon 9 from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39-A  at 10:53 p.m. Bad weather on the ascent corridor took the first three launch options on March 1 and 2 off the table. It’s the eighth SpaceX operational mission under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Its four crew members are NASA astronauts Commander Matthew Dominick, Pilot Michael Barratt, Mission Specialist Jeanette Epps and Roscosmos cosmonaut Mission Specialist Alexander Grebenkin. They flew up in the Crew Dragon Endeavour making its fifth trip to space. The first-stage booster made its first flight. The mission had originally been targeting Feb. 22, but that was the target day for the Intuitive Machines attempt to land on the moon, and NASA chose to move the launch to “deconflict” NASA support operations that day. Read more .

March 4: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-41 mission sending up 23 more Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 6:56 p.m. The first stage booster flew for the 13th time and made a recovery landing on the droneship  A Shortfall of Gravitas. Read more .

March 10: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-43 mission sent up 23 more Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 7:05 p.m. The first-stage booster flew for the 11th time with a recovery landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions downrange in the Atlantic. This was the 16th launch from the Space Coast in 2024. Read more .

March 15 (Delayed from March 13, 14): SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-44 mission sending up 23 more Starlink satellites from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39-A at 8:21 p.m. after scrubbing launches on both Wednesday and Thursday with about 2 minutes on the countdown clock. The booster flew for a record-tying 19th time and made a recovery landing downrange on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas. Read more .

March 21: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the CRS-30 resupply mission with a Cargo Dragon to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 4:54 p.m. This was the first Dragon launch from SLC-40 since the addition of a crew access arm to support Dragon launches from more than one Space Coast pad and augment normal launches from KSC’s Launch Pad 39-A. The first-stage booster made a recovery landing at Canaveral’s Landing Zone 1. Read more .

March 23 (delayed from March 22):  SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-42 mission sending up 23 more Starlink satellites from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39-A at 11:09 p.m. The first-stage booster flew for 19th time.

March 25: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-46 mission sending up 23 more Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 7:42 p.m. The first-stage booster flew for the eighth time and landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship.

March 30: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Eutelsat-36X mission from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39-A at 5:52 p.m. The first-stage booster flew for the 12th time with a landing on the Just Read the Instructions droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. This was 20th SpaceX launch from the Space Coast in 2024 and 21st among all companies. Read more .

March 30: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-45 mission carrying 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 9:30 p.m. The first-stage booster flew for the 18th time with a landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean. Read more .

LAUNCHED IN 2023

Jan. 3: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on the Transporter-6 mission carrying 114 payloads for a variety of customers blasted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 9:56 a.m. Read more .

Jan. 9: A SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off carrying 40 satellites for OneWeb at 11:50 p.m. Monday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40. Read more .

Jan. 15: The fifth-ever flight of SpaceX’s powerhouse Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off at 5:56 p.m. from KSC’s Launch Pad 39-A on a mission for the Space Force dubbed USSF-67. Read more .

Jan. 18: A SpaceX Falcon 9 on the GPS III Space Vehicle 06 mission for the Space Force rose through the pink, orange and blue horizon at 7:24 a.m. from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40. Read more .

Jan. 26: SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink 5-2 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 launched at 4:32 a.m. sending up 56 Starlink satellites. Read more .

Feb. 2: Falcon 9 on Starlink 5-3 from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39-A at 2:43 a.m. 200th successful flight of Falcon 9 on mission to send up 53 Starlink satellites. Read more .

Feb. 6: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Amazonas-6 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 lifted off at 8:32 p.m. Payload is communications satellite for Hispasat known also as the Amazonas Nexus. Read more .

Feb. 12: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 5-4 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 launched 55 Starlink satellites at 12:10 a.m. This set a then-record turnaround between launches from the same pad for SpaceX coming just five days, three hours, and 38 minutes since the Feb. 6 launch.  Read more .

Feb. 17: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Inmarsat’s I-6 F2 satellite launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 at 10:59 p.m. The second of six planned communication satellite launches, the first of which came in 2021 with the final coming by 2025. Read more .

Feb. 27: SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink 6-1 launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 6:13 p.m. carrying 21 of the second-generation Starlink satellites. Read more .

March 2: Crew-6 mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launching Crew Dragon Endeavour from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39-A at 12:34 a.m. A Feb. 27 attempt was scrubbed with less than three minutes before liftoff. Flying were NASA astronauts mission commander Stephen Bowen and pilot Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, heading to the International Space Station for around a six-month stay. It’s the sixth SpaceX operational mission under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Read more .

March 9: A SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off carrying 40 satellites for OneWeb launched at 2:13 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40. The first-stage booster flew for the 13th time landing at Canaveral’s Landing Zone 1. Read more .

March 14: After arrival of Crew-6 and departure of Crew-5 to make room for a cargo Dragon, SpaceX Falcon 9 launched a cargo Dragon spacecraft on CRS-27, the 27th resupply mission to the International Space Station from KSC’s Launch Complex 39-A at 8:30 p.m. Read more .

March 17: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the SES 18 and 19 mission, a pair of communication satellites set to launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40. Set a record for SpaceX mission turnaround with launch only four hours and 17 minutes after a Starlink launch from California. Read more .

March 22: Relativity Space Terran-1, a 3D-printed rocket awaiting company’s first-ever launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Launch Complex 16 at 11:25 p.m. While first stage successfully separated, the second stage engine did not get it into orbit. Read more .

March 24: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 5-5 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 11:43 a.m. carrying 56 Starlink satellites to orbit. The booster made its 10th flight. Read more .

March 29: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 5-10 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station launched at 4:01 p.m. The booster making its fourth flight landed on Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic. Read more .

April 7: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Intelsat 40e mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 12:30 a.m. Read more .

April 19: SpaceX Falcon 9 launch on Starlink 6-2 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 10:31 a.m. with 21 Starlink satellites. The first-stage booster made its eighth flight with a recovery on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean. Read more .

April 28: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the SES 03b mPOWER-B mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 6:12 p.m. Read more .

April 30: SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch of ViaSat-3 Americas’ communications satellite from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39-A at 8:26 p.m. All three boosters were expended, so no sonic boom landings. Also flying were payloads for Astranis Space Technologies and Gravity Space headed for geostationary orbits. It’s the sixth-ever Falcon Heavy launch. The launch pad endured a lightning strike on April 27, but SpaceX said the rocket was healthy for the attempt. Read more .

May 4: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 5-6 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station with 56 Starlink satellites at 3:31 a.m. The first-stage booster making its eighth flight was recovered once again on the droneship called A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean. Read more .

May 14: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 5-9 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 launnched at 1:03 a.m. Read more .

May 19: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-3 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 2:19 a.m. carrying 22 second-gen Starlink satellites. The first-stage booster made its fifth flight and landing on droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in Atlantic.  Read more .

May 21: Axiom 2 mission with four private passengers launched to the International Space Station for an eight-day visit flying on a SpaceX Falcon 9 topped with Crew Dragon Freedom from KSC’s Launch Complex 39-A at 5:37 p.m.  The first-stage booster flew for the first time with a return to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Landing Zone 1. This is only the second crewed mission from the U.S. in 2023 following March’s Crew-6 mission. The second Axiom Space private mission to the International Space Station following 2022′s Axiom 1 mission. Axiom Space’s Director of Human Spaceflight and former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is the mission commander with aviator John Shoffner as pilot and two mission specialist seats paid for by the Saudi Space Commission, Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali AlQarni. Read more .

May 27: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the ArabSat BADR-8 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 12:30 a.m. The first-stage booster made its 14th flight with a landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic. Read more .

June 4: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-4 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 with 22 second-generation Starlink satellites at 8:20 a.m. The first-stage booster made its third flight and was able to land down range on droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean. The launch came 13 years to the day since the first Falcon 9 launch in 2010. It was the 229th attempt of a Falcon 9 launch with 228 of the 229 successful. Read more .

June 5 (Delayed from June 3, 4): SpaceX Falcon 9 on CRS-28 launched a cargo Dragon spacecraft, the 28th resupply mission to the International Space Station from KSC’s Launch Complex 39-A at at 11:47 a.m. The first-stage booster made its fifth flight and SpaceX recovered it downrange on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic. This is the fourth flight of the crew Dragon, which will be bring up nearly 7,000 pounds of supplies, dock to the station 41 hours after launch and remain on the station for three weeks. Read more .

June 12: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 5-11 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 with 53 of the company’s internet satellites at 3:10 a.m.  The first stage booster flew for the ninth time with a recovery landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean. Read more .

June 18: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the PSN MSF mission to launch the Satria communications satellite for the Indonesian government and PSN, an Indonesian satellite operator. This satellite will provide broadband internet and communications capability for public use facilities in Indonesia’s rural regions. Liftoff was at 6:21 p.m. with the first-stage booster making its 12th flight and once again landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic. Read more .

June 22: United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy on NROL-68 for the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command and the National Reconnaissance Office from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37B lifted off at 5:18 a.m. This was the second-to-last Delta IV Heavy launch with the final one expected in 2024. Read more .

June 23: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 5-12 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 carrying 56 Starlink satellites at 11:35 a.m. The first-stage booster flew for the ninth time and landed on a droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic. Read more .

July 1: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the ESA Euclid space telescope mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 11:12 a.m. The European Space Agency telescope is designed to make a 3D map of the universe by looking at billions of galaxies up to 10 billion light years away across one third of the sky. Read more .

July 9: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-5 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 11:58 p.m. The booster made a record 16th flight and was recovered again downrange on the droneship Just Read the Instructions.  Read more .

July 15: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 5-15 mission with 54 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 11:50 p.m. (early Friday scrubbed 40 seconds before launch, and early Saturday option passed over) Booster made a record-tying 16th fligh landing on droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic.  Read more .

July 23: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-6 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 8:50 p.m. carrying 22 of its v2 mini Starlink satellites. The booster flew for the sixth time and made a recovery landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions.  Read more .

July 28: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-7 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 12:01 a.m. with 22 Starlink satellites. Booster flew for the 15th time including crewed launches Inspiration4 and Ax-1, and made recovery landing on droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic. The launch set a record for turnaround time for the company from a single launch pad coming four days, three hours, and 11 minutes since the July 23 launch. The previous record was set from Feb. 6-12 at five days, three hours, and 38 minutes.  Read more .

July 28: SpaceX Falcon Heavy from KSC’s Launch Complex 39-A that launched a telecom satellite for Hughes Network Systems called the Jupiter 3 EchoStar XXIV at 11:04 p.m. The two side boosters were recovered at Landing Zone 1 and Landing Zone 2 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. This was the third Falcon Heavy launch of 2023 and seventh overall. Read more .

Aug. 3: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Intelsat G-37 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 1 a.m. The first-stage booster made its sixth flight with a recovery landing downrange on the droneship Just Read the Instructions. Read more .

Aug. 6: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-8 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 10:41 p.m. with 22 Starlink V2 minis. The first-stage booster made its fourth flight with another recovery landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas downrange in the Atlantic. The turnaround time between the Aug. 3 Intelsat G-37 mission and this mission broke SpaceX’s previous record for time between launches from a single launch pad. Previous record was from July 24-28 with a turnaround of four days, three hours, and 11 minutes. This one came in at three days, 21 hours, 41 minutes. Read more .

Aug. 11: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-9 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 1:17 a.m. Payload is 22 of the V2 mini Starlink satellites. First-stage booster flew for the ninth time with a recovery landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic. Read more .

Aug. 16: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-10 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 with 22 of the V2 mini Starlink satellites. The first-stage booster made its 13th flight and SpaceX was able to recover it again on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas downrange in the Atlantic. Read more .

Aug. 26: SpaceX Crew-7 mission on a Falcon 9 launching the Crew Dragon Endurance from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39-A lifted off at 3:27 a.m. liftoff. It’s the seventh SpaceX operational mission under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Flying are NASA astronaut and mission commander Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA astronaut and pilot Andreas Mogensen, mission specialist JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and mission specialist Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov. This will be Endurance’s third spaceflight after having been used on the Crew-3 and Crew-5 missions. The launch will use a new first-stage booster. The crew will arrive at 8:50 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 27. with hatch opening about two hours later. It will stay docked about 190 days. Read more .

Aug. 26: SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink 6-11 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 9:05 p.m. with 22 Starlink satellites. The first stage flew for the third time and landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Aug. 31: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-13 mission carrying 22 of the v2 Starlink minis from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 10:21 p.m. It was SpaceX’s ninth launch of the calendar month matching the record nine launches it had in May. It was the company’s 60th orbital launch of the year. The first-stage booster flew for the seventh time and made a recovery landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic. Read more .

Sept. 3: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-12 mission carrying 21 of the v2 Starlink minis from Kennedy Space Center’s Space Launch Complex 39-A at 10:47 p.m. It marked the 62nd SpaceX orbital launch in 2023 besting the 61 launches the company performed in 2022. The first-stage booster on the flight made its 10th launch and was able to make its recovery landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean. Read more .

Sept. 8: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-14 mission carrying 22 of its Starlink satellites, flying from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 took off at 11:12 p.m. The first-stage booster made its seventh flight with a recovery landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas downrange in the Atlantic. Read more .

Sept. 10 (delayed from Aug. 29): United Launch Alliance Atlas V on the SILENTBARKER/NROL-107 for the National Reconnaissance Office and Space Force from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 at 8:47 a.m.. Delayed because of Tropical Storm Idalia. This was the second ULA launch of 2023. SILENTBARKER’s classified mission is to improve space domain awareness to support national security and provide intelligence data to U.S. senior policy makers, the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense. It will provide the capability to search, detect and track objects from space-based sensors for timely custody and event detection. Read more .

Sept. 15: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-16 mission, carrying 22 of its Starlink satellites, flying from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 launching at 11:38 p.m. The first-stage booster for the mission made its fifth flight with a landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic. It marked SpaceX’s 65th orbital launch of the year including missions from Canaveral, KSC and California. Read more .

Sept. 19: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-17 mission, carrying 22 of its Starlink satellites, flying from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 launching at 11:38 p.m. This was a record reuse flight for the first-stage booster flying for a 17th time with a recovery landing on the droneship A Short Fall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean. Read more .

Sept.23: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-18 mission, carrying 22 of its Starlink satellites, flying from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 11:38 p.m. The first-stage booster made a record-tying 17th flight with a recovery landing down range on droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean. Read more .

Sept.29: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-19 mission, carrying 22 of its Starlink satellites, flying from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 10 p.m. The booster on this flight made its 10th launch having flown on CRS-24, Eutelsat HOTBIRD 13F, OneWeb 1, SES-18 and SES-19 and five Starlink missions. It made a recovery landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean. This was SpaceX’s 69th launch of the year, its 49th from the Space Coast, 39th from Cape Canaveral and the other 10 from KSC. With only three non-SpaceX flights this year, it was the Space Coast’s 52nd overall. Read more .

Oct. 5: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-21 mission with 22 of its Starlink satellites launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 1:36 a.m.  The booster made its eighth flight with a recovery landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean. This was SpaceX’s 70th launch of the year, its 50th from the Space Coast, 40th from Cape Canaveral. With only three non-SpaceX flights this year, it is the Space Coast’s 53rd overall. Read more .

Oct. 6: United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 at 2:06 p.m. Payload was Amazon’s two test Project Kuiper satellites that were set to fly on ULA’s first Vulcan Centaur rocket, but switched to one of the nine Atlas rockets Amazon had previously purchased from ULA as Vulcan had been delayed to no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2023. Read more .

Oct. 13 (Delayed from Oct. 12): A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launched NASA’s Psyche probe into space launch from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39-A at 10:19 a.m. The probe was delayed from 2022, and headed for the asteroid Psyche, using a Mars-gravity assist and not arriving until August 2029. Psyche is a nickel-iron core asteroid that orbits the sun beyond Mars anywhere from 235 million to 309 million miles away. The two side boosters returned for a land landing at Landing Zone 1 and Landing Zone 2 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Read more .

Oct. 13 (Delayed from Oct. 8): SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-22 mission with 22 of its Starlink satellites launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 7:01 p.m. The first-stage booster for the mission is making its 14th flight, and made another recovery landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas down range in the Atlantic. The launch came 8 hours and 42 minutes after the Falcon Heavy launch from nearby KSC earlier in the day. Read more .

Oct. 17: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-23 mission with 22 of its Starlink satellites launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 8:36 p.m. This is the first-stage booster made its 16th flight with a recovery landing downrange on the droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic. This marked the Space Coasts’ 57th launch of the year, which matched the total it had in 2022. Read more .

Oct. 21: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-24 mission with 23 of its Starlink satellites launching from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 10:17 p.m. The first-stage booster made its fourth flight with a recovery landing downrange in the Atlantic on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas. This became the record 58th launch from the Space Coast for the year. Read more .

Oct. 29: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-25 mission with 23 of its Starlink satellites launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 7:20 p.m. This was the 59th launch from the Space Coast for the year. The first-stage booster flew for the eighth time and made a  recovery landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions stationed down range in the Atlantic. Read more .

Nov. 3: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-26 mission with 23 of its Starlink satellites launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 8:37 p.m. This was the 60th launch from the Space Coast for the year. The first-stage booster flew for a record 18th time and made a  recovery landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas stationed down range in the Atlantic. Read more .

Nov. 8: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-27 mission with 23 of its Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 targeting 12:05 a.m. The first-stage booster made its 11th flight with a landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions downrange in the Atlantic. This was the 61st launch from the Space Coast for the year. Read more .

Nov. 9: SpaceX Falcon 9 with cargo Dragon on the CRS-29 mission to carry supplies to the International Space Station from Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39-B at 8:28 p.m. It’s the 29th resupply mission for SpaceX with its cargo Dragon filled with 6,500 pounds of supplies for the Expedition 70 crew with an expected arrival to the ISS about 5:20 a.m. Saturday. It includes NASA’s Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE) science experiment to measure atmospheric gravity waves and how it could affect Earth’s climate and the Integrated Laser Communications Relay Demonstration Low-Earth-Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (ILLUMA-T), a technology demonstration for laser communications among the ISS, an orbiting relay satellite and a ground-based observatory on Earth. The first-stage booster flew for the second time and landed back at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Landing Zone 1. Read more .

Nov. 12: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the SES O3b mPOWER mission to medium-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40  at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 4:08 p.m. First stage made its 9th flight with a recovery landing on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship in the Atlantic Ocean. Read more .

Nov. 18: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-28 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 12:05 a.m. with 23 Starlink satellites. First-stage booster flew for the 11th time and landed on the droneship Just Read the Instructions This was the 64th launch from the Space Coast in 2023. This launch came hours ahead of the Starship and Super Heavy launch attempt in Texas. Read more .

Nov. 22: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-29 mission with 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 2:47 a.m. The first-stage booster flew for the 15th time and landed on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic. This marked the 65th launch from the Space Coast in 2023. Read more .

Nov. 27: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-30 mission with 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40at 11:20 p.m. This was a southerly trajectory launch. The booster flew for the 17th time (3rd booster to do so) and landed on the droneship Just Read the Instructions. It was the 66th launch of the year from the Space Coast, 62nd from SpaceX in Florida, and 87th orbital launch from SpaceX including California missions. Read more .

Dec. 2: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-31 mission with 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 11 p.m. First stage booster flew for the sixth time and landed on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas. It marked the 67th launch of the year from the Space Coast, 63rd from SpaceX in Florida, and 89th orbital launch from SpaceX including California missions.

Dec. 7: SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-32 mission with 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 12:07 a.m. The first-stage booster flew for the ninth time with a recovery landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions stationed downrange in the Atlantic. This was the 68th launch from the Space Coast in 2023. Read more .

Dec. 18 (Delayed from Dec. 11, 12, 13) SpaceX Falcon 9 on the Starlink 6-34 mission with 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 11:01 p.m. Read more .

Dec. 23: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-32 mission with 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 12:33 a.m.  This was a record 19th flight for the first-stage booster having flown previously on Crew Demo-2, ANASIS-11, CRS-21, Transporter-1, Transporter-3 and 13 Starlink missions. It made a recovery landing on the droneship Just Read the Instructions downrange in the Atlantic. This was the 70th Space Coast launch of the year. Read more .

Dec. 28 (Delayed from Dec. 10, 11, 13): SpaceX Falcon Heavy from KSC’s Launch Complex 39-A on USSF-52, the third mission for the Space Force, launching the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle on its seventh trip to space at 8:07 p.m. The side boosters flew for the fifth time, previously used on the Psyche mission, two Space Force missions and one commercial flight with another double land landing at Landing Zone 1 and Landing Zone 2 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Read more .

Dec. 28: SpaceX Falcon 9 on Starlink 6-36 mission with 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 targeting 11:01 p.m. This was the 12th flight for the first-stage booster with a recovery landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas downrange in the Atlantic. This was a record turnaround among SpaceX launches from Space Coast launch pads at 2 hours and 54 minutes besting October’s double launch that saw a Falcon 9 launch at CCSFS just eight hours, 42 minutes after a Falcon Heavy launch at KSC. Read more .

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Spaceflight doubleheader! SpaceX launches 2 rockets in 4-hour span (video)

The company lofted a telecom satellite and a batch of its own Starlink satellites in quick succession on Saturday (March 30).

SpaceX had a busy Saturday evening (March 30), launching two rockets from Florida less than five hours apart.

The action started at 5:52 p.m. EDT (2152 GMT) on Saturday, when a Falcon 9 rocket sent the Eutelsat 36D telecommunications satellite skyward from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC). 

Then, at 9:30 p.m. EDT (0130 GMT on Sunday, March 31), another Falcon 9 carried 23 of SpaceX 's Starlink broadband satellites up from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which is next door to KSC.

And there was supposed to be a third launch on Saturday night as well — another Starlink mission, which was scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California during a four-hour window that opened at 10:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. California time; 0230 GMT on March 31). But SpaceX called that third mission off due to bad weather.

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Both Falcon 9 first stages that launched on Saturday came back to Earth as planned, landing on SpaceX droneships at sea about 8.5 minutes after liftoff. It was the 12th liftoff and landing for the Eutelsat 36D Falcon 9 and the 18th for the Starlink booster.

Eutelsat 36D was deployed into geostationary transfer orbit about 34 minutes after launch. Once it's up and running, the satellite will provide TV broadcasting services to customers in Europe, Russia and Africa, according to EverydayAstronaut.com .

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The 23 Starlink satellites were deployed into low Earth orbit as planned, joining more than 5,600 of their operational broadband brethren up there.

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SpaceX already has experience with multi-launch days. Just last month, for example, the company launched a batch of Starlink satellites, the classified USSF-124 mission for the U.S. Space Force and the IM-1 private moon-landing mission in less than 24 hours.

Saturday evening's liftoffs were the 30th and 31st orbital launches of the year for SpaceX. The company plans to conduct 144 orbital missions this year , SpaceX representatives have said.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: [email protected].

Mike Wall

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with  Space.com  and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.

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Senior 2-day admission ticket.

Seniors age 55+ experience even more savings on 2-day admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Military 1-Day Admission Ticket

U.S. military receives a discount on adult and child admission.

VERIFY WITH ID.ME OR PRESENT VALID PROOF OF SERVICE AT WILL CALL.

Members of the U.S. Military (active, retired and veterans) receive $5 off adult and child one-day or two-day admission tickets. There are three ways to receive the discount: on-site at the ticket kiosks, on-site at Will Call, and online.

KennedySpaceCenter.com*

Tickets may be purchased online after ID.me verification. You will be directed to log in or create an account with ID.me during the purchasing process. Once verified, you may purchase your discounted ticket(s).

On-Site (Ticket Kiosks)*

At the kiosks, you will be given a barcode to scan with your mobile device which will take you to ID.me for log in and verification. Follow on-screen prompts. Once verified, you may purchase your discounted ticket(s). This option for purchase will be coming soon.

On-Site (Will Call)

If you do not have an ID.me account, you may bring your proof of service (such as DD-214, Choose VA card, retiree ID, driver’s license with the Veterans designation, or active duty military ID) to the Will Call agents upon arrival. They will verify your service and apply the discount.

The discount can be applied to up to 6 guests per transaction.

*Please note that it is highly recommended you have an ID.me account before purchasing. ID.me may not verify your credentials immediately if this is the first time documentation is submitted.

Military 2-Day Admission Ticket

U.S. military receives a higher discount on a 2-day adult and child admission.

ATLANTIS ANNUAL PASS

Enjoy a year of unlimited admission, including free parking, 10% off admission for up to six accompanying guests per visit, and discounts on food and retail.

Atlantis annual pass perks

Included with the Atlantis Annual Pass:

  • Admission for one year*
  • 10% off admission for up to six guests per visit
  • Lanyard to match the pass level
  • Monthly Newsletter plus rocket launch and event alerts (when providing an email address)
  • Free parking each visit ($10 value per visit)
  • 10% off retail and food and beverage purchases
  • 10% off Astronaut Training Experience® and Camp Kennedy Space Center®
  • Exclusive access to special passholder events

* Annual passes are not valid for separately priced tickets such as special launch viewing and events. ** Passholder must check the box to sign up for exclusive emails during the purchasing process.

Annual passholders receive a 10% discount on many separately priced activities when admission is included. Terms and conditions are subject to change.

  • Rocket Garden rocket tours

NOT INCLUDED WITH ADMISSION

The emailed tickets received online allow for the first entry to the visitor complex. You may print your Atlantis Annual Pass or display it on your mobile device. Upon arrival to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, go directly to the turnstiles at the main entrance. Scan the barcode on one ticket at the turnstile and once verified, you will be admitted. Visit Guest Services to exchange each ticket for an annual pass. Your photo will be taken at the time the annual pass is issued.

Cosmic Club Family Annual Pass

INCLUDED WITH the Cosmic Club Family Annual Pass

With a Cosmic Club Family Annual Pass, your entire family will enjoy: 

  • Admission for one year* 
  • Two adult annual passes, which will also permit entry for four children ages 3-11 per visit 
  • Save $50 on select birthday party packages in Planet Play 
  • Free parking each visit ($10 value per visit) 
  • 10% off daily admission for up to 6 additional guests per visit 
  • 10% off most retail and food and beverage purchases 
  • 10% off Camp Kennedy Space Center and Virtual Camp Kennedy Space Center 
  • Up to six Collectable Souvenir Cups with $0.99 refills 
  • Front of the line access for Planet Play 
  • Exclusive access to special passholder events 

*Annual passes are not valid for separately priced tickets such as special launch viewing and events. ** Passholder must check the box to sign up for exclusive emails during the purchasing process.

INCLUDED WITH ADMISSION

  • When purchasing the Cosmic Club Family Pass, you will be asked to provide the names of the two adults associated with the family pass. Each adult will have their own annual pass card, redeemed on site during their first visit.   The emailed tickets received online allow for the first entry to the visitor complex. You may print your Cosmic Club Family Annual Pass or display them on your mobile device.  Upon arrival to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, go directly to the turnstiles at the main entrance. Scan the barcode on one ticket at the turnstile and once verified, you will be admitted. Each ticket is valid for one entry only.  
  • Visit Guest Services to exchange each ticket for an annual pass. Guest Services is located inside the turnstiles and to the right.   Each named passholder must redeem this ticket on site within 30 days of the purchase date. Your photo will be taken at the time the annual pass is issued. The family annual pass begins as soon as one passholder redeems this ticket at the visitor complex. 

Annual passes are not valid for separately priced tickets such as special launch viewing and events. Annual passholders receive a 10% discount on many separately priced activities when admission is included. Terms and conditions are subject to change. 

KSC Explore Tour

Ignite your imagination on the KSC Explore Tour . Get closer to restricted areas such as launch pads and the Vehicle Assembly Building at America’s multi-user spaceport. This 2 hour tour includes stops for photo opportunities along the way before concluding at the Apollo/Saturn V Center.

With a space expert as your guide, tour America’s multi-user spaceport and make stops along the way for iconic photographic views. Ignite your imagination on the  KSC Explore Tour .

Go beyond the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour, included with admission, with this Explore Tour, stopping to capture photo opportunities and view icons of NASA spaceflight operations. Tour availability and routes may be altered at any time with or without any notice due to operational requirements. Safety protocols require an alternate tour bus route during days leading up to a launch from Launch Complex 39A.

* In addition to daily admission ticket or annual pass. Multiple tours are not recommended.

Chat With An Astronaut

Sit down in a casual, small-group setting, enjoy a sampling of food and beverages and ask a NASA astronaut your most pressing questions. 

INTRODUCING CHAT WITH AN ASTRONAUT  

Enjoy a sampling of food and beverages while having a group conversation about what it is really like to live and work in space. with plenty of time for an engaging Q & A session.

Inclusions:   

  • A continental breakfast in the morning, or chef’s choice of culinary samplings in the afternoon 
  • 1 alcoholic drink per adult ticket (more available for purchase)
  • A commemorative gift and lithograph (signed portrait) of the astronaut

Due to the small setting of this experience, Chat With An Astronaut is not available to groups. There is a maximum of 6 tickets purchased per transaction.  This experience is indoors with social distancing practices in place. For more information on our Trusted Space efforts against the spread of COVID-19, visit our  Health & Safety Procedures  page. 

Land and Drive on Mars Training Stage

Navigate the Martian surface! This full-motion simulator will place you in the Commander or Pilot seats where you hone your skills and drive over the rough Martian terrain. With varying degrees of motion intensity, everyone can drive on Mars. 

All ATX Training Stages are perfect for guests looking to kick off their space exploration training during their visit without doing the full ATX program. 

REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL ATX TRAINING STAGES:  

  • ATX Training Stages must be purchased in addition to daily admission.  
  • All ATX Training Stages are for individuals and groups ages 10 and older. Trainees that are ages 10 - 17 will require a paying, participating adult.  
  • Allow 30 minutes in your day for your ATX Training Stage. 
  • Program is presented in English both verbally and in text.   
  • Minimum height for this simulator is 51 inches/1.3 meters tall. 
  • Maximum weight for all simulators is 275 pounds/127 kilograms. 
  • Closed toed shoes are required.  

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: 

  • All Astronaut Training Experience Simulators:  For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this experience.  Expectant mothers should not participate.  
  • Land and Drive on Mars Simulator: Those who have had recent surgery or injury should not ride.  Participants must be at least 51” tall.

Due to limited capacities and enhanced sanitization practices, availability is limited to a first come, first served basis. We highly recommend you pre-book your training stage before you arrive . 

Walk on Mars Training Stage

Time to step onto the Red Planet. Walk on Mars through immersive virtual reality with the help of your crew. Nowhere else on Earth can you explore Mars quite like this.  

Requirements For All ATX Training Stages:  

  • Minimum height for this simulator is 48 inches/1.22 meters tall. 

Safety Precautions: 

  • All Astronaut Training Experience Simulators: For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this experience.  Expectant mothers should not participate.  
  • Walk on Mars Virtual Reality: If you experience seizures, loss of awareness, eye strain, altered vision or other visual abnormalities, dizziness, disorientation, or any symptom related to motion sickness, you should not participate.  Guests who have pre-existing binocular vision abnormalities should not participate. 

Microgravity Training Stage

Train for weightlessness and conduct your own spacewalk in the Microgravity Simulator. You and your crew will work together in order to successfully complete a series of training challenges needed to set you on a path to Mars, all while in a frictionless environment.  

*In addition to daily admission ticket or annual pass.

Astronaut Training Experience

Nowhere else on Earth can you train to go to Mars and experience astronaut training. Through exciting and immersive simulation technology, prepare for the next mission to Mars.

Trainees do not need daily admission to experience ATX.

  • ATX is a 5 hour program, beginning at 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM on the dates available. 
  • ATX is suitable for ages 10 and older. Trainees that are ages 10 - 17 will require a paying, participating adult.

SAFETY AND RESTRICTIONS:

English Flue ncy:   Due to safety instructions and the interactive content essential to this program, each guest must be fluent in English in order to participate in ATX.

All Astronaut Training Experience Simulators:  For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this experience.  Expectant mothers should not participate.

Lander/Rover Simulator:  Those who have had recent surgery or injury should not ride.  Participants must be at least 51” tall.

Walk on Mars Virtual Reality:  If you experience seizures, loss of awareness, eye strain, altered vision or other visual abnormalities, dizziness, disorientation, or any symptom related to motion sickness, you should not participate.  Guests who have pre-existing binocular vision abnormalities should not participate.

Spacewalk Training:  Participants must be at least 48 inches/1.22 meters tall. Max weight 275 pounds/127 kilograms.

Admission is not included, but it is not required for the Astronaut Training Experience.

Mars Base 1

Travel to Mars to live and work for the day, solving authentic science and engineering challenges. Rookie Astronauts manage the Base Operations Center on Mars, harvest plants in the Botany Lab, program robots to optimize solar energy and adapt to the challenges of living on Mars.

Due to safety instructions and the interactive content essential to this program, each guest must be fluent in English in order to participate. 

  • Mars Base 1 begins at 9:00 am and is an all-day program.
  • Appropriate for ages 10 and older.  Trainees that are ages 10 - 17 will require a paying, participating adult.
  • Wheelchair accessible, but with some possible mobility challenges.

Learn more about Mars Base 1 . 

Mars Base 1 does not include daily admission to the visitor complex, but daily admission is not required to participate. Add  admission  to visit on your second day and have the complete Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex experience!

Admission is not included.

Enhance Your Visit

Astronaut talking to crowd of people

Play on the Planets

Planet Play

Experience a Ship Like No Other

Atlantis

Space Shuttle Atlantis®

New Kennedy Space Center App Screen Lineup

Kennedy Space Center Official Guide

Save a Map. Download the free App!

  • Kennedy Space Center Official Guide App is available for free from the App Store
  • Plan your trip with features such as maps, FAQ’s, and detailed descriptions of shows and attractions.
  • Enhance your visit with information on guest services, dining and shopping, and for updated information including rocket launches.
  • Use the wayfinding maps to maneuver your way around the visitor complex and the Apollo/Saturn V Center

Admission prices are plus tax. Daily Admission tickets are good for a one-day visit to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex℠, excluding special promotional offers and black out dates. Prices are subject to change without notice. KSC Special Interest Tours, ATX and Chat With An Astronaut are only valid for date of reservation.

Military Discount: Price good with proof of valid ID for United States active duty military at the ticket window. Reservist, retiree and active duty military receive discount when purchasing tickets through a participating MWR/ITT Travel office.

Annual passes are non-transferable and nonrefundable. Purchases of annual passes may be made at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex℠ front gate or guest services, online or by calling the reservations office at 855.433.4210.

Seating is limited at Chat With An Astronaut, and KSC Special Interest Tours are limited and subject to availability. Due to the special nature of these tours, space is limited. Advance reservations are suggested for both special programs. All exhibits are subject to change, and tours may be altered or closed due to operational requirements or launch preparations.

IMAGES

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  6. Tripadvisor

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COMMENTS

  1. Plan Your Trip to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

    Below are top recommendations on how to make the most out of a trip to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. These are only suggestions based on the interests below, and the attractions are not listed in a particular order. ... Day Two: Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour including Apollo/Saturn V Center 2.5 hours;

  2. A Self-Guided Tour of Kennedy Space Center: 1-Day Itinerary

    Click here to check out the Kennedy Space Center launch schedule. If you're following the suggested itinerary, you may want to grab lunch here at the Moon Rock Cafe or at the Orbit Cafe back in the main visitor complex area. Either way, you will want to grab the bus back. Apollo /Saturn V exhibit time: 1-2 hours.

  3. Visit Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at Cape Canaveral

    Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex ® See the visionary designs paving the way for human deep space travel while discovering the current cutting-edge space exploration innovations from NASA and commercial partners. Enter the spaceport of the future and launch aboard one of four unforgettable journeys at Spaceport KSC. LEARN MORE

  4. A First-Timer's Guide to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

    With so much offered, here's a breakdown of what you can do at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. At Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex®, see the visionary designs paving the way of human deep space travel while also discovering the current cutting-edge innovations of space exploration from NASA and commercial partners.

  5. Kennedy Space Center (Ultimate Visitor's Guide for 2024)

    Driving to Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is located at Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953. From the North: Head down I-95 South to exit 215 onto Highway 50. Go east on Highway 50 for a short period before taking a right onto SR 405.

  6. Orlando Day Trips: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

    Orlando Day Trips: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. By Nate Shelton on Sep. 13, 2022. Discover out-of-this-world adventures, live rocket launches and a full day of family fun. Blast off to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (pictured), just an hour east of Orlando. Updated Feb. 15, 2023.

  7. Visiting Kennedy Space Center: The Ultimate Guide

    Tickets to visit the Kennedy Space Center are likely going to be your largest expense and are available in a wide variety of formats depending on your preferences. A one-day general admission ticket to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex costs; Adults: $75. Seniors: $70 (55+) Children: $65 (3 - 11) Under 3: $0.

  8. NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

    21,610 reviews. #1 of 34 things to do in Merritt Island. Visitor CentersScience Museums. Open now. 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Write a review. About. Become an astronaut for a day at NASA's visitor center on Merritt Island. Start your visit with a bus tour of the spaceport before working your way through the various exhibits and displays, including ...

  9. Kennedy Space Center Walking and Bus Tour from Orlando 2024

    Immerse yourself in the wonders of space travel on this trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Following morning pickup from Orlando, head to this top Florida landmark, and embark on a self-guided walking tour of the center's exhibitions, installations, and more. Even meet a passing astronaut before your bus tour to the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Next, see highlights like the Space Shuttle ...

  10. 17 Spectacular Kennedy Space Center Tips (Your Ultimate Guide)

    Here are my most basic Kennedy Space Center directions from Orlando. If you're coming from the theme park area or Orlando, then you'll want to: Get on the FL-528 E from I-4 to FL-3 N/N Courtenay Pkwy in Merritt Island (about a 45-minute drive or 47.5 miles) Take exit 49 from FL-528 E. Continue on N Courtenay Pkwy.

  11. What To Experience On A Day Trip To Kennedy Space Center ...

    Kennedy Space Center tickets included. Tour NASA's launch headquarters and the iconic Shuttle Launch Experience. Check out the famed Rocket Garden, Apollo/Saturn V Center, and view two IMAX virtual space films. Meet veteran astronauts at the Astronaut Encounter show. The choice to upgrade the tour and have lunch with an astronaut.

  12. Kennedy Space Center Day Tour with Transportation from Orlando

    Enjoy a day tour with transportation from Orlando to visit the world of aerospace at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and fulfill your dreams of becoming an astronaut! Klook Travel United States Orlando Tours & experiences Tours Day trips Kennedy Space Center Day Tour with Transportation from Orlando English. Join in group. Meet with ...

  13. Kennedy Space Center Express & ICON

    The world's most comprehensive attraction devoted to the space shuttle, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's Space Shuttle Atlantis brings visitors nose-to-nose with the priceless Atlantis spacecraft as only astronauts have seen it before - with payload bay doors open as if it were floating in space.

  14. Planning a Day Trip to the Kennedy Space Center with Kids from Kissimmee FL

    Here is an easy itinerary to follow when you want to plan your own day trip to the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, or a three-day weekend to Kissimmee, FL. Day One: Travel to Kissimmee. Arrive in Orlando; ... Arrive Early: It takes about an hour to get to the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex. Leave by 7:45am. Trust me. You want to ...

  15. Kennedy Space Center Tours

    We travel every day to the Space Coast, and our certified tour guides are experts on the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Your guide will provide all the information, tips, and hints you need during the journey from Orlando to Kennedy Space Center. We'll ensure you have a great day and can make the most of your time at Kennedy Space Center.

  16. An Out-of-this-World Kennedy Space Center Itinerary with Tips

    Tickets are $50 per person. Kennedy Space Center Explore Tour is an in depth behind the scenes tour that allows you to get out of the bus to take photos and gives you access to a space expert for a guide. Tickets are $25 per person. Fly with an Astronaut is an even more exclusive behind the scenes tour with an astronaut.

  17. Kennedy Space Center with Transportation Tickets

    There are four tours to choose from: Real Florida Adventures #1 Kennedy Space Center Tour - Enjoy an action-packed visit to the Kennedy Space Center including return transport from Orlando and the services of a professional guide. Real Florida Adventures Kennedy Space Center with Airboat - Combine your Kennedy Space Center Adventure Tour with ...

  18. 10 Things To Do In Cocoa Beach: Complete Guide To This Sunny ...

    Get Intrigued At The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex . NASA's Kennedy Space Center is about a 40-minute drive from Cocoa Beach on Merritt Island and will be an excellent day trip for any ...

  19. Things to do at the Kennedy Space Center

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  20. Rocket launch schedule: April missions from Cape Canaveral, Florida

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  21. "That was amazing!" Final Delta rocket launches from Cape Canaveral

    This "most metal" of rockets wowed spectators with its farewell performance just before 1 p.m from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's Launch Complex 37. As it rose into the sky, the crowd ...

  22. Visit Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at Cape Canaveral

    Visit NASA's launch complex, the astronaut hall of fame, or see a rocket launch all just an hour from Orlando at Kennedy Space Center.

  23. Space Coast launch schedule

    PUBLISHED: April 9, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. | UPDATED: April 9, 2024 at 5:11 p.m. The Space Coast set a new launch record in 2023 with 72 orbital missions from either Kennedy Space Center and Cape ...

  24. Brevard marks Eclipse Day

    Hundreds came to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Monday for special Eclipse-related activities. While people take cover from the sun in the shade awaiting the start of the solar eclipse ...

  25. Spaceflight doubleheader! SpaceX launches 2 rockets in 4-hour span

    SpaceX had a busy Saturday evening (March 30), launching two rockets from Florida less than five hours apart. The action started at 5:52 p.m. EDT (2152 GMT) on Saturday, when a Falcon 9 rocket ...

  26. Buy Tickets to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

    Admission prices are plus tax. Daily Admission tickets are good for a one-day visit to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex℠, excluding special promotional offers and black out dates. Prices are subject to change without notice. KSC Special Interest Tours, ATX and Chat With An Astronaut are only valid for date of reservation.