One of the neatest attractions you can visit while in the Central Florida area is the launch site of NASA's shuttles at Kennedy Space Center. In fact, some of the most important steps in space travel have been completed right here in these facilities. This great attraction lets you take your knowledge of space to a whole new level. From guided tours to presentations, exhibits and more, this great experience is both educational and entertaining. Be sure to call in advance to find out when presentations and special guests will be visiting. You might get an opportunity to meet a real astronaut!

 Only 45 minutes east of Orlando, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day, or more of fun and educational activities, including the $100 million home of Space Shuttle Atlantis. Showcasing the priceless, historic spacecraft that tells the incredible story of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program. Space Shuttle Atlantis is displayed as only spacewalking astronauts have seen her before -- rotated 43.21 degrees with payload doors open and its Canadarm (robotic arm) extended, as it has just undocked from the International Space Station.

Space Shuttle Atlantis features state-of-the-art multimedia presentations and more than 60 interactive exhibits and high-tech simulators that bring to life the complex systems and components behind this incredible feat of engineering. One of the most complicated and sophisticated pieces of equipment ever built, the shuttle is a vehicle that launched like a rocket, flew in orbit like a spacecraft and landed on a runway like a glider.

Space Shuttle Atlantis: The Building
The stylized shape of the new home for Atlantis features two sweeping architectural elements or “wings” in hues of orange and gold to represent both the heat and the bright colors of re-entry. Special gray colored tiling has been incorporated into the building’s design to represent the space shuttle tiles that protected the orbiter from the heat of re-entry.

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Entrance
Guests visiting Space Shuttle Atlantis are greeted by a full-scale, upright, replica space shuttle stack, including external tank and two solid rocket boosters. The 184-foot-tall assembly gives visitors a true sense of the awesome power used to thrust the shuttle into orbit.

Apollo/Saturn V Center

This is where it all began. On July 20, 1969, millions of people all over the world held their breath while a single man put his foot onto the moon’s surface. Recapture the wonder and excitement of that day with a visit to the Apollo/Saturn V Center – the one place in the world where you can reach out and touch a moon rock!

You’ll feel the space race come alive as you stand under the largest rocket ever made – the mighty Saturn V. This monumental 363-foot rocket was America’s lunar transportation for 27 brave astronauts who traveled to the moon and back, fulfilling the dreams and imagination of people around the world. The same sense of awe still overwhelms visitors today.

Shuttle Launch Experience®

Shuttle Launch Experience® combines the detailed accounts of astronaut experiences with the expertise of premier design engineers to produce a true-to-life experience unique to visitor attractions around the world.  The technical highlights include an amazingly realistic simulation of the space shuttle’s eight and a half-minute ascent into orbit, custom-designed crew cabins with unprecedented vertical range, high-definition audiovisual effects, and advanced seating effects to maximize the sense of realism.

  

The journey begins as crew members enter the Shuttle Launch Experience® on the gantry inside Space Shuttle Atlantis℠. As you ascend, astronaut testimonials set the stage for what is to come.

  

Entering the heart of space shuttle operations for the pre-launch briefing, crew members are guided by veteran space shuttle Commander Charlie Bolden as he takes them step-by-step through the launch sequence. Passengers then enter the crew cabin in the space shuttle’s payload bay and strap in for launch.  For the next five minutes, the cabin’s 44 passengers see, feel and live the powerful journey to 17,500 mph. The payload bay doors open, to reveal a breathtaking view of Earth seldom seen in the first person. After this experience, visitors will never view a launch in the same way.

Did You Know all of this is included in your general admission ticket? 

The Space Shuttle Atlantis experience is worth the price of admission alone, but also included is the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Explore Space: Explorers Wanted, Astronaut Memorial and many other interactive exhibits.

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