Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is so much more than an active launch facility and spaceport.
The leading Florida attraction is also a place where interactive space experiences bring guests closer to NASA, and space exploration, than anywhere else on Earth.
With 2019 marking the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic mission to the Moon, as well as the return of human spaceflight on the Space Coast, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is expecting record visitation numbers this year. In anticipation of the increased interest in space, and to ensure the highest levels of service and amenities for guests, the visitor complex has a universe of brand new exhibits, enhancements, additions and improvements for visitors in 2019.
“2019 is going to be another exciting year for us,” said Therrin Protze, COO of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
“In 2018, the opening of the new Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) was met with high praise and nearly sold-out bookings.
For 2019 we’ve been working hard to create new ways to enhance our guest experience, as well as upgrade and add amenities that will make a visit to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex even more memorable. Our focus continues to be STEM education in an informative and fun way, inspiring and delighting the space fans and astronauts of the future.”
A Galaxy of New Exhibits to Explore at the Apollo/Saturn V Center
The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, in July, will be the pinnacle of a dazzling year at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and will come to life through the reimagining of the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
A galaxy of wonder and exploration awaits guests at the interactive exhibit and attraction, which focuses on the Apollo programme from the days leading up to the first launch, to the Moon landings that followed. A renovated “sense of arrival” will include revamped landscaping, thematic signage and much more, setting a new tone for the experience.
Dramatically displayed, the focal point of the Apollo/Saturn V Center is the majestic Saturn V moon rocket, one of only three remaining in the world. A new addition to the exhibit will be projection mapping on the side of the Saturn V, showing the iconic footage of the Moon landing on the type of rocket that enabled the journey.
At the entrance to the Lunar Theater, guests will be transported back to 1969 as they step into a period living room re-creation to experience what it was like to watch the Moon landing. A 1960s style bar, where patrons gathered to watch the historic event, will also be part of the revamped entrance.
The Astrovan, which transported astronauts to the launch pad and can be seen in the 2018 movie “First Man,” is also on display at the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
Other new experiences and interactive opportunities will allow guests to delve deeper into what many consider one of the most significant achievements of the 20th century. Other enhancements at the Apollo/Saturn V Center will include:
- An enhanced Touch the Moon exhibit
- A Moon Tree garden
- A Fisher Space Pen legacy display
- Closer look at the CSM-119
- A photomosaic display with interactive elements
- Additional artifacts on display, plus renovation of existing exhibit displays
- All-new content and audio-visual experiences
Return of Human Spaceflight
Visitors will soon be able to witness the return of human spaceflight at Kennedy Space Center. After nearly eight years, 2019 will welcome a new era of space exploration when astronauts will once again launch into space from American soil. NASA’s ‘Commercial Crew Program’ is producing the next generation of American spacecraft that will launch astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from Kennedy Space Center. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers the closest public viewing of rocket launches.Dramatic Sense of Arrival
The adventure will begin the minute guests arrive at the visitor complex, with a brand new entranceway that immediately establishes a “sense of space”. Located via a new access road, set off Space Commerce Way, the entrance design replicates the giant crawler-transporters that deliver rockets from the Vehicle Assembly Building to their launch pad. The stunning replica will ignite visitors’ excitement and curiosity and set the tone for a memorable visit.
Step. Power. Launch.
Guests can become part of powering their own future, one step at a time, via the interactive piezoelectric experience ‘Step. Power. Launch’. Three separate tile pads designed to replicate planets give guests the chance to participate in a new technology prototype. The energy generated by guests as they step on the tiles will power virtual launches on digital towers throughout the park. The information gathered at the visitor complex will be used to develop technology that will one day be on roadways and sidewalks to generate energy for surrounding cities.
TV personality, public speaker and author Emily Calandrelli, a.k.a. The Space Gal, is the host of a new video shown on the KSC Bus Tour, available exclusively at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Calandrelli is a MIT-engineer turned Emmy-nominated TV host, a correspondent on ‘Bill Nye Saves the World’ and an executive producer and host of Fox’s ‘Xploration Outer Space’.
Guests will go “behind the scenes” more than ever before by “following” space guide Emily as she interviews NASA experts and explores fascinating details about past and future launches. This is the only way the public is allowed access to restricted areas of Kennedy Space Center, the working spaceflight facility where America launched to the Moon and where NASA plans to send astronauts into deep space.
Dine With An Astronaut
Interacting with astronauts is one of the most exciting experiences many guests have at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, but perhaps most compelling is the opportunity to learn about their experiences first-hand. The popular lunch programme, which is hosted each day by a visiting veteran astronaut, is being updated and refreshed for a new, more personal guest experience, focusing on the human elements and emotions of spaceflight. A new, themed location will create an environment more suited to the occasion. Following the lunch and astronaut presentation, each guest will have the opportunity to take an individual photo with the astronaut in attendance that day.
New Concession Concepts
New, space-themed food outlets will be available at the visitor complex. The existing Milky Way ice cream shop will feature an out-of-this world new façade, complete with a panorama of the galaxy and premium, hand-dipped ice cream. The new Red Rock Grill, featuring self- service ordering, will offer a smorgasbord of speciality fast foods.
Landed: Astronaut Training Experience® Exploring with Lockheed Martin
Opened in 2018, the new Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) boasts the most high-tech, hands-on activities available at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, through two distinct programmes: ‘Astronaut Training Experience’ and ‘Mars Base 1’. Astronaut Training Experience is an opportunity for visitors to train like an astronaut preparing for a mission to Mars. Mars Base 1 provides participants with a chance to live on Mars for seven hours as “rookie astronauts”, while performing base operations along with real science experiments and engineering tasks.
Now located among the other attractions at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and offered as an add-on to regular admission or purchased separately, Astronaut Training Experience activities are designed with a focus on problem solving, communication and collaboration. Programmes range from 30 and 45-minute experiences easily added to a day at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, to five and seven-hour programmes on a separate visit to the rest of the visitor complex’s attractions. All ATX experiences provide the opportunity to participate based on the time guests have available to “train like an astronaut” at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a 45-minute drive from Orlando, Florida. Opening daily at 9am, the closing times varies by season. Admission is $57 + tax for adults and $47 + tax for children ages 3 – 11.
For more information, visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com.