Payload Blog

A Universe of New Offerings


If you have not been to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in a while, it will look quite different from your previous trip. In fact, even if you visited recently in early 2018, you will still be amazed at all that is different, including a brand new way to enter the complex. It has been a busy year for the visitor complex, as we have added many experiences, photo opportunities and unique technologies for you to explore. Plus, there will be even more to see and do in 2019. Here is a snapshot of all that is new in 2018 and coming soon in early 2019.



New Entrance and Parking Plaza Opening December 17, 2018

The brand new entrance to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is located on Space Commerce Way. As you drive down the entrance road, you will see the orange fuel tank and solid rocket boosters outside Space Shuttle Atlantis® and the massive Vehicle Assembly Building in the distance. A launch-style countdown welcomes you to our recreation of a crawler-transporter. The updated parking plaza features six lanes with two automatic pay stations so you can quickly start your day of exploration!

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Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour has been renewed to take you behind NASA’s gates like never before.

Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour Updates Beginning Late December 2018

Gearing up for the next era of space exploration, the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour has been renewed to take you behind NASA’s gates like never before. Follow guide Emily Calandrelli as she visits some of the most mission-critical areas of Kennedy Space Center, like launch pad 39B and the Vehicle Assemble Building. Hear from local experts in their fields and learn how NASA has joined commercial partners to prepare for the future of space exploration.

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Lunch With An Astronaut, now Dine With An Astronaut is being updated for an all-new dining experience.

Dine With An Astronaut Opening Early 2019

Lunch With An Astronaut is being updated for an all-new dining experience. Now called “Dine With An Astronaut,” you’ll enjoy a delicious catered buffet and get to know the visiting astronaut on a more personalized level. Hear stories about the traditions and memories they shared with their crew family, and discover the thrills and emotions of space travel.

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Guests lighting up the Step. Tower. Launch! power tiles using piezoelectric energy.

Step. Power. Launch. Piezoelectric Tiles Start stepping today!

In partnership with Georgia Tech Research Institute, Step. Power. Launch. takes an innovative technology called piezoelectricity and creates an interactive experience. Piezoelectricity is created when crystalline materials generate electricity in response to applied pressure. You can test out this technology at the visitor complex by stepping (or dancing!) on our piezo tiles, generating enough energy to “launch a rocket” on the tower displays. Gather your crew and get stepping!

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Red Rock Grill replaces G-Force Grill, located next to Journey to Mars.

New Dining and Menu Options Opening Mid-December 2018 – January 2019

There are updated space-themed food outlets at the visitor complex! The Milky Way ice cream shop has a new look. Enter the Milky Way and enjoy ice cream, toppings, sundae options, and of course, Space Dots. Red Rock Grill replaces G-Force Grill, located next to Journey to Mars. Order from the Mars-themed habitat windows and enjoy a variety of specialty hot dogs.


Artifacts from the former U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® recently found new homes in two stunning displays at the visitor complex, including John Young's Flight Jacket.

Artifact Relocation Ongoing Updates Through 2019

Artifacts from the former U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® recently found new homes in two stunning displays at the visitor complex. Featuring items such as the Apollo 10 heat shield core and astronaut Michael Collins’ Apollo 11 flight jacket, First Steps inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center tells the story of the early Apollo missions that took America to the Moon. Inside our Space Shuttle Atlantis® attraction, learn about astronauts’ everyday life on the space shuttle at the new Working and Living in Space display. .


Solar trees have sprouted up around the visitor complex thanks to Florida Power & Light

Florida Power & Light Solar Trees See them today!

Solar trees have sprouted up around the visitor complex thanks to Florida Power & Light. These large structures have solar arrays that provide shade and generate clean energy that goes back to the grid. Clean energy means it requires no oil or natural gas as fuel. Next time you are at the visitor complex, take the opportunity to learn about solar energy!



A new, glistening meatball is located outside the Space Shop.

New NASA Meatball Photo Opportunity Already Unveiled

Statues of the NASA logo, more commonly known as the “meatball”, provide a popular photo spot at the visitor complex. A new, glistening meatball is located outside the Space Shop. Be sure to snap a selfie and tag us on social media using #JoinTheJourney. You photo may be featured on our homepage social wall!



The Saturn 1B you see at the visitor complex is the last remaining intact and flight-configured of its kind left in existence! It is currently being restored on site at the visitor complex to preserve it for future generations.

Saturn 1B Rocket Restoration Summer 2019 Completion

The Saturn 1B is an early Apollo-era rocket. The Saturn 1B you see at the visitor complex is the last remaining intact and flight-configured of its kind left in existence! It is currently being restored on site at the visitor complex to preserve it for future generations. Be sure to look through the windows around the rocket to see the restoration’s progress, and marvel at winning artwork from the SciArt Exchange’s competition.