Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Launch Schedule

Overview of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Launch Schedule

The Kennedy Space Center is a hub of innovation and discovery, serving as a premier destination for space enthusiasts, scholars, and scientists alike. This iconic facility is situated on the scenic Merritt Island in Florida and has played a vital role in shaping the course of space exploration history. From Alan Shepard's historic first American flight into space in 1961 to the latest advancements in space technology, the Kennedy Space Center has been a witness to some of the most remarkable achievements in human history.

Whether you're interested in learning about the history of space exploration, marveling at the latest space technology, or witnessing live rocket launches, the Kennedy Space Center has something for everyone. Stay up-to-date with all the latest Kennedy Space Center launches, events, and programs by visiting this page. Explore the wonders of space and embark on a journey of discovery at the Kennedy Space Center.

Kennedy Space Center Launch Schedule & Other Programs

Meet Astronaut Fred Gregory
  • Astronaut Appearance
  • Date: 4 Feb 2023 - 7 Feb 2023
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Meet astronaut Fred Gregory, a former NASA astronaut and the first African American to pilot a spacecraft. Gregory has spent a total of 19 days in space, including missions on the space shuttles Challenger and Discovery. He will share his incredible experiences and insights with visitors during his appearance at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Don't miss the chance to meet this legendary astronaut and learn about his incredible journey beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Meet Astronaut Terry Wilcutt
  • Astronaut Appearance
  • Date: 8 Feb 2023 - 11 Feb 2023
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Meet Astronaut Terry Wilcutt, a former NASA astronaut who flew on four Space Shuttle missions and served as a pilot and commander. During your visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, you'll have the opportunity to meet and interact with Wilcutt, hear his stories of spaceflight, and ask him questions. This is a unique chance to learn from someone who has firsthand experience in space exploration and to gain insights into the challenges and rewards of being an astronaut. Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to meet Astronaut Terry Wilcutt at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Launch Director Tour Of Space Shuttle Atlantis
  • Date: 9 Feb, 11 Feb, 23 Feb, 25 Feb, 9 Mar, 16 Mar, & 31 Mar 2023
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Experience a rare behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the Kennedy Space Center on the Launch Director Tour of Space Shuttle Atlantis. Led by a launch director, you will get an exclusive look at the control center that oversaw the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Along the way, you'll see the Vehicle Assembly Building, Launch Control Center, and the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit, and have the opportunity to ask questions and take photos. This is a unique opportunity to explore the history and technology behind the Space Shuttle program.

Meet Astronaut Bill McArthur
  • Astronaut Appearance
  • Date: 12 Feb 2023 - 15 Feb 2023
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Meet Astronaut Bill McArthur, a veteran of three space flights and a former International Space Station (ISS) commander, at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. During his career at NASA, he has logged over 224 days in space and participated in several crucial missions. At the meet and greet event, visitors can interact with McArthur and learn about his experiences in space. Don't miss this opportunity to meet a true space hero and gain insight into the world of space exploration.

Meet Astronaut Charlie Walker
  • Astronaut Appearance
  • Date: 16 Feb 2023 - 19 Feb 2023

Charlie Walker was an American engineer and NASA astronaut who flew three space shuttle missions in the 1980s. He was the first non-government individual to fly in space as a part of a commercial contract between McDonnell Douglas and NASA. During his missions, Walker conducted numerous experiments and also helped to deploy satellites into orbit. Visitors to Kennedy Space Center may have the opportunity to meet Charlie Walker and hear about his experiences in space during astronaut appearances.

Fly With An Astronaut
  • Date: 17 Feb 2023 - 19 Feb 2023
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

The Fly With An Astronaut program at Kennedy Space Center offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a simulated shuttle launch and spaceflight with an actual astronaut as their guide. Participants will receive a briefing from their astronaut guide before boarding a realistic shuttle cockpit simulator. They will experience the sights, sounds, and sensations of a shuttle launch and the weightlessness of space during the simulated flight. Throughout the experience, the astronaut will share their firsthand experiences and knowledge of spaceflight. This program is ideal for space enthusiasts of all ages who want a taste of what it's like to be an astronaut.

Meet Astronaut Winston Scott
  • Astronaut Appearance
  • Date: 20 Feb 2023
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Meet Astronaut Winston Scott at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and get inspired by his incredible journey into space. A former NASA astronaut and United States Navy captain, Scott has flown on two Space Shuttle missions and spent over 24 days in space. During his meet-and-greet session, Scott shares his experiences and insights on space travel and his work as a musician. Visitors can also take a photo with him and get an autograph. This is a rare opportunity to meet a space hero and learn about life in orbit.

Meet Astronaut Bob Thirsk
  • Astronaut Appearance
  • Date: 21 Feb 2023 - 24 Feb 2023
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Meet Astronaut Bob Thirsk at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and hear about his incredible experiences in space. Thirsk is a veteran of two spaceflights, including a six-month stay on the International Space Station. During his time in space, Thirsk conducted experiments and performed spacewalks to help advance our understanding of the universe. As part of the meet-and-greet experience, visitors can take photos with Thirsk and ask him questions about his life as an astronaut. It's an unforgettable opportunity to learn about the challenges and rewards of space exploration from a true space pioneer.

Meet Astronaut Woody Spring
  • Astronaut Appearance
  • Date: 25 Feb 2023 - 27 Feb 2023
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Meet Astronaut Woody Spring, who flew on three Space Shuttle missions and spent a total of 533 hours in space. During his astronaut career, he performed numerous spacewalks and helped to deploy important satellites. At Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, you can meet Woody Spring in person and hear about his experiences as an astronaut. Get inspired by his stories of space exploration and learn about the challenges and triumphs of living and working in space. This is a unique opportunity to meet a real-life space hero and ask all your burning questions about life in space.

NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 Launch
  • Rocket Launches
  • Date: 26 Feb 2023 | 2:07 AM
  • Location: Launch Complex 39A | Kennedy Space Center

NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 Launch is a highly anticipated event that marks the sixth operational crewed mission by SpaceX for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The launch will send a crew of four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. The astronauts will spend approximately six months aboard the ISS, conducting scientific experiments and performing maintenance tasks. This launch is part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which seeks to partner with private companies to develop reliable and cost-effective means of transporting astronauts to and from the ISS.

Meet Astronaut Anna Fisher
  • Astronaut Appearance
  • Date: 28 Feb 2023 - 3 Mar 2023
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Meet astronaut Anna Fisher, a trailblazer in space exploration who made history as the first mother in space. Fisher was part of the 1984 STS-51A Discovery mission and has logged over 192 hours in space. Visitors can meet her at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where she shares her experiences as an astronaut and the challenges of space travel. Don't miss the opportunity to hear first-hand from a pioneering astronaut who helped pave the way for women in space.

Meet Astronaut Heidi Piper
  • Astronaut Appearance
  • Date: 4 Mar 2023 - 8 Mar 2023

Meet Astronaut Heidi Piper, a veteran of three Space Shuttle missions and a member of the Astronaut Class of 1996. As part of Kennedy Space Center's Astronaut Encounter program, visitors have the opportunity to meet and chat with Astronaut Piper, learn about her experiences in space, and ask questions about life as an astronaut. With her wealth of knowledge and experience, Astronaut Piper offers a unique and insightful perspective on the challenges and excitement of space travel. Don't miss this chance to meet a true space pioneer and gain a new appreciation for the wonders of the cosmos.

Kennedy Space Center Launch Viewing Areas

Main Viewing Area in Visitor Complex During Launches
Banana Creek Launch Viewing Area

The primary viewing location for launches within the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is situated beside the Space Shuttle Atlantis® on the North Atlantis Lawn. Visitors can see the rocket as it rises above the tree line while enjoying live launch commentary.

Distances to Launch Pads:

  • Atlas V SLC-41: approximately 7.1 miles/11.3 kilometers
  • Falcon 9 SLC-40: approximately 6.8 miles/10.6 kilometers
  • Delta IV SLC-37: approximately 7 miles/11.4 kilometers
  • SpaceX LC-39A: approximately 7.4 miles/12.1 kilometers

Amenities and Inclusions:

  • Bleacher and lawn seating with minimal viewing obstructions
  • Live launch commentary
  • Access to main Visitor Complex attractions, shows, dining, and retail during operational hours of the launch.

This launch viewing location is located near the Apollo/Saturn V Center and provides outdoor bleacher seating with picturesque views of the launch pads across Banana Creek. During the launch window, visitors can also explore Apollo Program exhibits and marvel at the world's largest rocket, the Saturn V.

Here are the approximate distances to the launch pads:

  • Atlas V SLC-41: 5.4 miles/8.7 kilometers
  • Falcon 9 SLC-40: 6.2 miles/10 kilometers
  • Delta IV SLC-37: 8 miles/12.8 kilometers
  • SpaceX LC-39A: 3.9 miles/6.27 kilometers

This viewing location offers the following amenities and inclusions:

  • Bleacher seating and an open lawn area are available on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Access to the Apollo/Saturn V Center, dining, and shopping when open. Note that the Apollo/Saturn V Center may be closed due to private events or other operational concerns.

Historic Launches at the Kennedy Space Center

Apollo Program
  • 13 Saturn V launches took place from 1967 to 1973 at KSC.
  • Apollo 4, the first of two uncrewed flights, was also the first rocket launch from KSC.
  • Apollo 8's lunar orbiting mission in December 1968 was the first launch of Saturn V with a crew.
  • Apollo 9 and Apollo 10 tested the Lunar Module.
  • Apollo 11 made the first Moon landing on July 20, 1969 from Pad A.
  • The Apollo program concluded at KSC with the launches of missions 13 through 17 from 1970-72.
  • The first US space station launched by NASA.
  • Engaged for about 24 weeks between May 1973 and February 1974.
  • Main functions were an orbital workshop, a solar observatory, Earth observation, and hundreds of other experiments.
  • The last Saturn V launch put the Skylab space station in orbit.
  • Its orbit decayed and disintegrated in the atmosphere in 1979.
The Space Shuttle Program
  • The fourth human spaceflight program carried out by NASA.
  • Routine transportation for Earth-to-orbit crew and cargo from 1981 to 2011.
  • Shuttle Discovery and Shuttle Atlantis were the orbiter vehicles.
  • The Shuttle is the only winged and crewed spacecraft to have achieved a successful orbit and landing.
Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELVs)
  • Since 1958, NASA and the military have collaborated on robotic mission launches.
  • During the 1960s, NASA launched an average of two robotic missions per month, enabling rapid vehicle development.
  • From the 1950s to 1978, Kennedy Space Center was responsible for selecting rocket and payload processing facilities for all robotic missions launched in the United States.
  • The Kennedy Space Center also performed this role for commercial and foreign missions.
Space Station Processing
  • During the 1990s, Kennedy Space Center collaborated with other NASA centers and international partners to prepare for Space Shuttle processing.
  • The experience of processing 22 Spacelab missions in the Operations and Checkout Building was used to understand ISS processing.
  • Today, Kennedy Space Center processes payloads from around the world for the International Space Station before launch.
  • The center also develops experiments for on-orbit operations.

Present Programs at the Kennedy Space Center

  • Commercial Crew Program: Provides commercially-operated crew transportation service to and from the International Space Station (ISS) under contract to NASA.
  • Exploration Ground Systems Program: NASA is designing the next heavy launch vehicle for continuation of human spaceflight.
  • Launch Services Program: Responsible for NASA's oversight of launch operations and countdown management, providing added quality and mission assurance.
  • Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa): An initiative to invite more students into the field of science, mathematics, technology, and engineering.
  • Artemis Program: The main goal is to return humans to the moon, specifically the lunar south pole, by 2024.
  • Lunar Gateway: Planned small space station in lunar orbit intended to serve as a solar-powered communication hub.
  • International Space Station Payloads: Framework adopted by the International Space Station to support various types of hardware.
  • Camp KSC: Educational camps for schoolchildren in spring and summer that focus on aviation and robotics.


What is the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex?

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is an educational center and tourist attraction located at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It offers a variety of exhibits, interactive displays, and experiences related to space exploration and the history of the space program.

What is the launch schedule for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex?

The launch schedule for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is subject to change, as launches are dependent on weather and other factors. The center offers a launch schedule on their website and visitors are encouraged to check the schedule regularly for updates.

Are there any restrictions or guidelines for attending a launch at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex?

Yes, there are certain restrictions and guidelines for attending a launch at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Visitors should check the website for the latest guidelines and requirements, including prohibited items and parking information. Face masks are currently required indoors, and strongly recommended outdoors, for visitors who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Can I bring food or drinks to a launch at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex?

Visitors are allowed to bring a small bag of food and drinks to a launch at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Alcoholic beverages, glass containers, and coolers larger than 16 quarts are prohibited.


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