Payload Blog

The Fun of Learning at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Never Shuts Down!


View of the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit and more of the visitor complex.

Despite the government shutdown, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is fully open and operational to guests, including Kennedy Space Center Bus Tours directly to the Apollo/Saturn V Center!

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is operated for NASA by Delaware North and is not supported by government or tax-payer funding and therefore is able to remain open.

You’ll still be able to plan on a full-day experience with the following attractions open for your enjoyment: Heroes & Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, Space Shuttle Atlantis®, Shuttle Launch Experience®, Astronaut Encounter, Rocket Garden, IMAX® 3D space films and Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted. Kennedy Space Center Bus Tours directly to the Apollo/Saturn V Center will still be running, where you’ll be able to witness the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building!

Special Interest Tours are currently suspended throughout the government shutdown. If you had a previously booked tour, consider an add-on enhancement explained in more detail below!

Here are six unique activities you can still enjoy throughout the shutdown:

  1. Walk Among Giants with a Rocket Garden Tour: Did you know that NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs are represented in this garden of giants? These rockets are not just engineering feats of technology, but they also act as a tribute to the scientists and engineers who turned dreams of spaceflight into a reality. Be sure to stop by and let a space expert guide you through a history of early rocket science during the daily guided tours. See the daily schedule for tour times.
  2. Meet an Astronaut: It’s true! You can meet a veteran NASA astronaut every day here at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. During Astronaut Encounter, those who have lived and work in space share their experiences during a live presentation and a question & answer session. You can even shake hands and take a photo with the astronaut afterwards! Be sure to check out the Event Calendar to see who is the Astronaut of the Day on the date of your visit.
  3. Learn More about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program: At NASA Now, you can see spacecraft created for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and NASA’s Space Launch System, the future transportation of deep space exploration. Not only does NASA Now house spacecraft representing all of these programs integral to the future of American spaceflight, some of these spacecraft are actually space-flown. Learn more about what’s currently on display.
  4. Discover the Treasures of the Apollo Era: Inside of the Treasures Gallery located in the Apollo/Saturn V Center, you can find an actual Apollo spacecraft and legendary artifacts in a display so immersive you can see moon dust on Alan Shepard’s spacesuit. With medals, prototypes and training gear, you’ll be able to live the story of astronauts bound for the Moon in this Smithsonian affiliated exhibit.
    Relive history when you visit Apollo Treasures at the Apollo Saturn V Center, where you are able to view artifacts such as the Apollo capsule.
  5. Discover What’s Happening with Current NASA Missions: There are a lot of exciting missions happening right now at Kennedy Space Center! Stop by Universe Theater to learn more about NASA’s commercial partners including SpaceX and Boeing, astronauts and science experiments aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and preparations for the future of deep space exploration with the Space Launch System, set to launch from Kennedy Space Center in the near future. Check out the daily schedule for show times!
  6. Add On One of These Special Enhancements: While your Explore Tour or Cape Canaveral Early Space Tour may have been impacted by the government shutdown, there are still plenty of add-on experiences you don’t want to miss. Here are a few:
    1. Astronaut Training Experience (ATX)®: In this all-new attraction, you can train to live and work on Mars through exciting and immersive technology. If you don’t have enough time for the full ATX program, consider adding a Training Stage to your day!
    2. Mars Base 1: Travel to Mars to live and work for the day with this new program! You’ll be able to solve authentic NASA science and engineering challenges with other space explorers.
    3. Dine With An Astronaut: Meet an astronaut and enjoy a chef-prepared buffet lunch with this unique add-on enhancement.
      You can meet an astronaut, such as astronaut Jon McBride, during a catered lunch at Dine with an Astronaut.

The fun of learning will never shut down at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. We are looking forward to seeing you soon – book your tickets today!

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