Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S.A.
Set amid 140,000 acres of marshland and mangrove swamp, Kennedy Space Center has been the headquarters of American rocketry and space exploration since the launch of the unmanned Bumper 8 research rocket in July 1950. Eleven years later, Alan Shepard lifted off Pad 5 to become the first American in space, and in July 1969 Apollo 11 blasted off from Pad 39A, carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon. Since then, the base has been home to America’s space shuttle and International Space programs; it is currently overseeing unmanned missions to Mars, Jupiter, and beyond.
Visitor tours begin at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which houses a collection of NASA rockets and two IMAX theatres showing films about space exploration that will get your patriotic juices flowering. Various programs offer chances to meet astronauts and tours visit the LC-39 Observation Gantry, with a 360-degree view of the space shuttle launch pads, and the Apollo/Saturn V Center, housing a 363-foot Saturn V, the most powerful rocket ever launched by the U.S.
The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame features the world’s largest collection of astronaut personal memorabilia, plus historic spacecraft, hands-on activities, and astronaut training simulators. Sit at a mission control console or take a virtual ride on Mars n the G-Force Trainer and feel the pull 4 G’s.
WHERE: 45 miles east of Orlando.