Humans in space have always been a fascinating concept, with NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre playing an important role in bringing such dreams to life. From sending humans to the moon, Kennedy Space Centre allows common people to experience the world of space and technology with its 700 attractions. From meeting NASA astronauts to witnessing the Saturn V of the Apollo mission and the Shuttle Atlantic, the Centre has unique highlights at the Visitor Complex. These range from bus tours, IMAX theatres, memorabilia, displays and exhibits from all the landmark events that have happened at the Kennedy Space Centre.
Kennedy Space Centre has 700 attractions and exhibits for visitors, who can explore the fun yet educational installations during their space centre tour. The major attractions of the Centre include the Rocket Garden that showcases NASA’s Apollo, Gemini and Mercury Programmes; the US Astronaut Hall of Fame which has the largest collection of personal memorabilia of American astronauts. Along with the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which is basically the original iconic shuttle; the Shuttle Launch Experience that simulates a real space launch; and the Apollo/Saturn V Centre where the real Saturn V rocket launcher rests. From meet-and-greet sessions with astronauts to touching a piece of moon rock, Kennedy Space Centre has it all and so much more.
Shop at the “world’s largest space shop” at Kennedy Space Centre. Plan your visit to include the massive Space Shop of the space centre, which is renowned as the world’s largest store that solely sells NASA gear and space memorabilia. From merchandise designed based on popular NASA programs to exclusive souvenirs commemorating the moon landing, The Space Shop and The Right Stuff of Kennedy Space Centre are the ultimate shopping experiences for the space nerd in you. Experience the thrill of walking across the original Apollo 11 gantry like NASA astronauts, click memorable pictures, and personalise all your purchases at the stores.
Dining options at the Kennedy Space Centre offer an otherworldly experience with their delicious vegetarian, healthy and gluten-free options and biodegradable and recyclable cutlery. Choose from six restaurant options serving at the space centre, ranging from the Orbit Café that serves freshly prepared dishes across the Space Shop to the innovative ice cream presentations of the Milky Way and Space Dots. While the Moon Rock Café serves diners among Apollo artefacts, IMAX Snax offers a delightful cinematic experience in the heart of the Kennedy Space Centre, and the Planet Play Lounge provides a much-needed break to both kids and their parents.
It was in September 1961 that NASA purchased land for the Apollo Lunar Landing Program on Merritt Island in Florida. By 1962, the independent NASA field centre of Launch Operations Centre was established, which was renamed the John F Kennedy Space Centre in 1963.
It was on 26th May 1965 that the Kennedy Space Centre Headquarters was formally inaugurated. As the US Space Program achieved greater heights, public interest grew in exploring the Kennedy Space Centre from up close. As a result, NASA administrator James Webb created a visitors’ program in 1964, which flourished into the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex and remains popular to date.
The best way to reach Kennedy Space Centre is by driving down to Merritt Island, as the centre is not connected by direct public transportation. Essential information to know is that the SR 405 connects the Space Centre in Central Florida to Orlando, Daytona Beach and Miami, while the SR 3 connects Merritt Island to Cocoa Beach.
The best time to visit Kennedy Space Centre is during the early morning hours. You would get ample time to explore all the attractions at leisure and also avoid the crowds that throng here in the early afternoon. You would also be able to avoid a lot of sun and heat exposure by visiting early. It is recommended that you visit on the weekdays to avoid the weekend rush.
Kennedy Space Centre is a massive NASA launch base, and since the tours to explore all the highlights are generally on foot, visitors have to walk around a lot. It is thus recommended that you wear comfortable yet sturdy walking shoes, carry a water bottle and have regular snacks and timely meals to ensure you have a good time at the centre.
While the Kennedy Space Centre bus tour covers the major attractions of the Visitor Complex in approximately two hours, exploring all the attractions at the centre at leisure can take six to eight hours.
The Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex aims to bring the general public closer to the US Space Programme. With attractions and exhibits inspired by some of the most historic moments of NASA’s space missions like Apollo, original remains of iconic space exploration devices like the Saturn V and Shuttle Atlantis are also on display for visitors. Get a glimpse into the history and future of space technology and the massive human effort that makes it all possible at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Centre.