KSC Up-Close Explore Tour (Optional)
Go behind the scenes at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), America’s gateway to space for more than 50 years. The KSC Up-Close Explore Tour takes you beyond the regular KSC Bus Tour and makes several stops where you can capture once-in-a lifetime photo opportunities
From your tour bus, see many of KSC’s most historically significant buildings, including NASA’s KSC Headquarters; the new headquarters building now under construction; the newly renamed Neil Armstrong Operations & Checkout Building where astronaut crews spent the final days before their flights; and the International Space Station Processing Facility, where components of the ISS were built before being ferried into space.
Disembark on the NASA Causeway alongside the scenic Banana River, where you can get a panoramic view of KSC as well as Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.Stop for photos outside the 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Inside these high-bay doors, the Saturn V moon rockets and space shuttles were stacked and prepared for launch, as will be the next crewed space program, the Orion capsule aboard the Space Launch System (SLS).
Drive around Launch Pad 39B, one of two pads used for every space shuttle launch from 1981 to 2011 and now modernized for its new job of launching the SLS. You’ll see the pad up close then disembark at a scenic location nearby, flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and pads 39 A and B on the other side.
Along the way, your tour guide will share historical facts about the sights you’re seeing – vehicles, buildings and structures crucial to current and past operations. Your space expert also will give you real time updates on what’s happening at Kennedy Space Center and answer questions about the space program. Throughout your tour, you are surrounded by the natural beauty of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
As NASA grows closer to once again launching crewed vehicles into space, many of the areas on the Up-Close Explore Tour will become off limits. Don’t miss your chance to explore where America’s space program began and discover for yourself where it leads next.