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A complete guide to the Kennedy Space Center

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The Kennedy Space Center in Florida is one of NASA’s 10 field centers that has served as the primary launch site for essential missions including the Apollo missions. The center has been an asset to space exploration and continues to make significant contributions even today. Grab the chance to learn all about past and future missions, train like an astronaut using simulators, and witness original spacecraft up close at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Read this page to learn everything you need about visiting the Kennedy Space Center.

Kennedy Space Center in a Nutshell


Handy information

⏰ Suggested Duration: 6 to 9 Hours
☀️ Best Time to Visit:Weekday morning
? Must See:Rocket Garden
?️Admission Ticket:$78.75
?Explore Tour:$105.25
? Best way to reach: By car or transfer buses

Opening hours

13 August - 17 December: 9 AM to 5 PM
18 December - 31 December: 9 AM to 6 PM

Must-see at Kennedy Space Center

Address

Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953, USA
Get there

Why Visit Kennedy Space Center?


Kennedy Space Center
  • Step into the heart of space history where legendary missions like Apollo were launched, and explore launchpads that changed the course of human exploration forever.
  • Train like an astronaut through immersive simulators, feel the rush of a rocket launch, and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and triumphs of space travel.
  • Get up close to original spacecraft, including the awe-inspiring Space Shuttle Atlantis, and witness the marvels of engineering that have enabled us to venture beyond our planet.
  • Delve into interactive exhibits that unravel the mysteries of the cosmos, providing insights into our place in the universe and the incredible science that drives space exploration.
  • Perfect for all ages, explore all the exhibits inside that ignite curiosity and foster a lifelong love for science and discovery.

Kennedy Space Center Tickets


Take a look at all your Kennedy Space Center ticket & tour options. Choose between admission tickets, bus tours, guided tours, & more!

Inside Kennedy Space Center


1Heroes & Legends

Immerse in space history through the Heroes & Legends zone. Marvel at the Rocket Garden's iconic rockets and explore the US Astronaut Hall of Fame, honoring space pioneers. Engaging attractions like the "Through the Eyes of a Hero" exhibit and the Astronaut Encounter offer personal insights into the journeys of these explorers.

Kennedy Space Center

2Behind the Gates

Embark on an exclusive bus tour behind the gates of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Discover Launch Complexes A and B, witness the colossal Vehicle Assembly Building, and gain unparalleled access to areas where historic missions were prepared. Dive into this exclusive behind-the-scenes adventure showcasing the heart of space operations.

Kennedy Space Center

3Race to the Moon

Relive the thrilling era of the many Moon missions in this zone. Stand awestruck before the mighty Saturn V rocket, explore the Apollo 8 module, and experience the intensity of the Firing Room, where history was made. This zone is a tribute to humanity's audacious journey to our satellite planet.

Kennedy Space Center

4Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other

Encounter the magnificence of space travel as you lay your eyes on the majestic Space Shuttle Atlantis, a marvel of engineering. Interactive exhibits offer insights into the shuttle program's legacy, allowing you to understand the life of an astronaut and the shuttle's groundbreaking missions.

Kennedy Space Center

5NASA Now + Next

Dive into the future of space exploration through the exhibits at NASA Now+Next, . Delve into the Journey to Mars, exploring our endeavors to reach the Red Planet, witness the Deep Space Launch Complex, an emblem of upcoming missions, & top it off with the captivating IMAX Theater, offering stunning visual insights into cosmic wonders.

Kennedy Space Center

Top Attractions at Kennedy Space Center


Here are some top attractions at the Kennedy Space Center that must be a part of your itinerary.

History


The Kennedy Space Center, located in Florida, has a storied history as NASA's premier launch site. Established in 1962, it was integral to the Apollo missions that landed humans on the moon. The inaugural launch of Apollo 11, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, marked a pivotal moment in human achievement. Throughout the following decades, the Space Shuttle program, saw over 100 launches, solidifying the center's role in space exploration. The iconic Vehicle Assembly Building, one of the largest structures on Earth, housed both Apollo and Space Shuttle vehicles. Today, the Kennedy Space Center remains an active hub for launching various missions, from robotic interplanetary explorations to resupplying the International Space Station. Its legacy reverberates through history, showcasing mankind's insatiable desire to reach for the stars.

Rocket Launches at Kennedy Space Center


Kennedy Space Center

The Kennedy Space Center is synonymous with rocket launches, that have shaped space exploration. Historically, it has hosted monumental launches like the Apollo 11 mission, which successfully landed humans on the moon. The Space Shuttle program,, with its remarkable launches, further solidified the center's reputation. Currently, the Kennedy Space Center remains at the forefront of launch activities, supporting both government and commercial missions. Recent launches have included satellite deployments, scientific explorations, and resupply missions to the International Space Station.

SpaceX conducts frequent launches from the Kennedy Space Center, revolutionizing the industry with reusable rockets like the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, facilitating a new era of accessible space travel. As the launch site for both historic and modern missions, the Kennedy Space Center continues to propel humanity's dreams into the cosmos. Keep an eye out for upcoming launches so you can make your way to the Kennedy Space Center on the day of the event!

Best Time to Visit


The ideal time to visit the Kennedy Space Center is during the fall and spring seasons. These months, typically from September to November and March to May, offer pleasant weather with milder temperatures, making outdoor attractions and exhibits more enjoyable. Additionally, weekdays tend to be less crowded than weekends, giving you a more immersive experience with shorter lines at the different attractions inside.

Kennedy Space Center Hours


  • 13 August - 17 December: 9 AM to 5 PM
  • 17 December - 31 December: 9 AM to 6 PM
  • Last admission - 1 hour before closing
  • Last bus tour - 2.5 hours before closing

Getting There


The best way to get to the Kennedy Space Center is by car or by opting for bus transfers. Public transport is not available directly to the Kennedy Space Center, however, the closest bus stop is at Cargo Road. Parking is available inside the Visitor Complex.

Tips For First Time Kennedy Space Center Visitors


Kennedy Space Center

1. Plan ahead - The Kennedy Space Center is a popular destination, and it can be crowded during peak times. Make sure to plan your visit in advance so that you can get the most out of your trip.

2. Buy tickets online - You can buy tickets online, and this is the best way to ensure that you have a spot on one of the center's tours.

3. Arrive early - The Visitor Complex opens at 9 am, and the best exhibits tend to fill up quickly. If you want to see everything the center has to offer, make sure you arrive early.

4. Stay late - The Center is open until nightfall, and there are some special nighttime events that you won't want to miss. Plus, the center is really beautiful at night, and it's worth sticking around for a few hours after dark.

5. Bring sunscreen - It can get very sunny at the Kennedy Space Center, so be sure to bring sunscreen with you.

6. Bring water - If you're planning on spending all day, then it's a good idea to bring lots of water with you. Just being outside for so long can cause dehydration, especially if it's hot out.

7. Dining options - There are tons of restaurants, cafes and food trucks for you to choose from. Opt for an early lunch, or a late one to avoid crowds.

8. Visit during a weekday - Crowds tend to be much larger on weekends and holidays, so if you want to try to beat the rush, then consider visiting on a weekday instead.

9. Bring a camera - If you want to take some great photos of the rockets and spacecraft, then bring your camera with you.

10. Plan what you're going to see - The Center has a lot of cool exhibits spread over a massive expanse of land. Scan through the map and list of attractions before your visit so don't miss out on things you really want to see!

About Visiting the Kennedy Space Center with Family

Interesting Facts About Kennedy Space Center


1. The Kennedy Space Center served as the launch site for all Apollo moon missions, including the iconic Apollo 11 mission that carried Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the lunar surface, marking a giant leap for mankind.

2. Standing at a staggering 525 feet tall, the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) is one of the largest structures in the world. It was originally constructed to assemble the massive Saturn V rockets and later housed Space Shuttles before their journeys to space.

3. The Rocket Garden isn't just a display; many of the rockets found here were actually test-fired before they were exhibited, giving visitors a chance to see real rocket engines up close.

4. The historic Firing Room 4 of the Launch Control Center is the room where critical decisions were made during launches.

5. The Kennedy Space Center is a regular launch site for SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. Witnessing these launches is a thrilling experience, with the added excitement of watching reusable rockets return for pinpoint landings, revolutionizing space access.

More about Kennedy Space Center Facts

Restaurants & Cafés


burgers
Rocket Garden Cafe

The Rocket Garden Cafe offers a wide variety of food options for visitors. The cafe is located in the Rocket Garden and the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat. The cafe has a casual atmosphere, and it's a great place to relax and take a break from all of the excitement.

pizzas
Moon Rock Cafe

The Moon Rock Cafe offers meal options as well as delicacies like Chicken, Bacon & Swiss Melt and Pepperoni Pizza. Have lunch among Apollo spacecraft and artifacts in the Apollo/Saturn V Center. The Moon Rock Cafe has a number of space-themed dishes that make for a unique dining experience.

salad
Orbit Cafe

Orbit Cafe is a popular restaurant inside the Center that serves freshly prepared salads, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, dessert, and more. The lettuces and herbs in the salads are grown hydroponically in towers right in front of your eyes. The cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you can go there either before or after your visit to the space center.

eggs benedict
Milky Way

After exploring the galaxies and constellations, if you find yourself craving something sweet, Milky Way is just the place for you. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and it offers a variety of options that are perfect for any occasion. The menu includes items such as eggs benedict, chicken marsala, and salmon filet, and the restaurant also has a wide selection of desserts that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

crepes
Space Dots

Taste the ice cream of the future! Located close to Space Shuttle Atlantis, this outlet offers innovative ice cream and gelato in your favorite galactic flavors. The restaurant is decorated with images of space travel, and it offers a unique dining experience that is sure to impress.

beer
Red Rock Grill

Located next to Journey To Mars, this outdoor lunch stand serves hot dogs, beer and more. The Red Rock Grill is a great place to eat if you're visiting the Center around lunch time. Fuel up before your visit to the museum. The restaurant is open daily from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

Kennedy Space Center Gift Shops


Kennedy Space Center
The Space Shop

The Space Shop is one of the most popular shops inside the Space Center, and it's packed with exclusive items that are perfect for collectors. Some of the highlights from the space shop include models of rockets, astronaut dolls, and patches from different NASA missions.

Kennedy Space Center
The Right Stuff

If you're looking for a unique gift or a space-themed souvenir to commemorate your visit to the Space Center, then be sure to check out The Right Stuff Shop. The store has a wide selection of items, including hats, T-shirts, toys, books, and many other items. You can find something for everyone at the Right Stuff Shop.

Kennedy Space Center
The Shuttle Express

The Shuttle Express shop is a convenience store, and it offers a variety of snacks, drinks, and souvenirs for visitors. The store is open from 9am to 5pm, and it offers a 10% discount to visitors who show their admission tickets. Some of the popular items available at the Shuttle Express shop include hats, T-shirts, postcards, sunglasses, and many other types of souvenirs.

Hotels Near Kennedy Space Center


FAQs


What are the Kennedy Space Center hours of operation?

The Kennedy Space Center is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, and the IMAX Theatre is open from 10 AM to 4 PM.

What is the best time to visit the Kennedy Space Center?

The Kennedy Space Center is busiest on weekends, and Saturday is usually the busiest day. If you're looking for a more relaxed experience, then opt to go on a weekday morning.         

What can I do inside Kennedy Space Center?

The Kennedy Space Center is packed with attractions, and you can learn about America's history of space travel at the Rocket Garden, the Apollo/Saturn V center, and many other museums throughout the complex. You can also watch a live rocket launch from the NASA Causeway, tour the Astronaut Hall of Fame, experience a ride to Mars at the Journey to Mars museum, and go on many other exciting adventures.

How do I get to the Kennedy Space Center?

The Kennedy Space Center is located at 1 Rocket Road in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The center can be accessed by car, or you can opt for a ticket with bus transfers from Orlando.  

Are there any hotels near the Kennedy Space Center?

There are hotel options near the Kennedy Space Center, and some of them include Comfort Inn at Port Canaveral Hotel, A1A Beachfront Resort, and Pier House Resort.

What is there to do near the Kennedy Space Center?

The Kennedy Space Center is located in Cape Canaveral, Florida, which is one of the best cities for visitors interested in the ocean. Popular nearby attractions include Cocoa Beach, Port Canaveral, and many of Florida's beaches.

Kennedy Space Center Guide