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  Kennedy Space Center: Advice for first-time visitor

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Author Topic:   Kennedy Space Center: Advice for first-time visitor
18blue78
New Member

Posts: 5
From: UK
Registered: Aug 2013

posted 12-16-2013 07:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 18blue78     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm planning a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex next year and was looking for some advice so I don't miss out on anything.

I'm after things like which tours around Kennedy Space Center are a must and which ones ain't so great? For some reason I'm having difficulty getting detailed information from the visitor complex's website, plus hearing peoples personal experience is always good when planning a trip.

Although I'm new to collectSPACE I've been collecting space memorabilia for a few years so I was also wondering if anyone had experience of collecting autographs at the visitor complex? I'm interested in doing the Lunch with an Astronaut — is asking for autographs during this event the done thing? I'd rather know in advance then look like a bonehead when I'm there.

As well as the visitor complex, I'm planning on seeing the Astronaut Hall of Fame, but is there anything else I should be visiting while I'm there? Thanks for any help.

MarylandSpace
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Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-16-2013 10:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
During my last visits to KSC, there were astronaut talks in the astronaut theater if I recall correctly at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. There were photo ops after each talk and I think free autograph op on the second floor of the gift shop after the 4:00 talk. Lithos were available for purchase or you could bring your own.

Seeing the Saturn V never gets old. At 363' long and beautifully restored, you can imagine it lifting off to a lunar journey.

You really need to look at the timetable given out to you at the visitor's/information desk to play your day(s) at KSC. I think a one day ticket is good for two days. IIRC you can upgrade the ticket/pass to a yearlong pass inside for about $12 more.

At the AHOF, I enjoy seeing the personal items of the astronauts and Ken H's neat Apollo 11 display.

A quaint, free museum in Titusville is the Space Walk of Fame. I always buy 25 cent postcards there. Nearby is the SWOF Park right along the water.

alanh_7
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Posts: 963
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 12-16-2013 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was there in November. I had not been in three years and there were huge changes.

The biggest change was the addition of Atlantis. Spectacular. They really did an great job. You likely will want to spend a few hours there.

The Saturn V never gets old.

I have done various tours over the years. In November, I did a tour of launch control center which was worth doing but get your tickets quickly as they only allow 20 or so people on the tour.

I like the Hall of Fame but have not been in awhile. Last time I went I spent 3 hours there.

I did the Then and Now Tour a few years ago and want to do it again next time I go.

There is always the astronaut lectures which are held daily. John Blaha was there last time I went and he gives an excellent presentation. A few years ago Mark Lee gave a good presentation when I was there.

Hope this helps.

Greggy_D
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Posts: 679
From: Michigan
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 12-16-2013 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One day is not nearly enough to experience all that KSC has to offer. I would plan on 2 days minimum, 3 days minimum if you also visit the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

p51
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Posts: 908
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 12-16-2013 12:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One often-overlooked place to visit is the Valiant Air Command Museum, which is right before you get to the Hall of Fame building. If you have any interest in military or older aircraft, it's not to be missed. I went there, thinking I could see it all in 10 minutes or so. It's deceptive, you have no idea how big the place is at first. Dedicate at least a few hours to this alone!
quote:
Originally posted by Greggy_D:
One day is not nearly enough to experience all that KSC has to offer. I would plan on 2 days minimum, 3 days minimum if you also visit the Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Certainly, one day isn't enough. I went with my parents and wife in 2011. My folks are in their 70s, and we missed a lot of stuff when we went because my Mom wasn't moving very well that week. We only had one day, including the drive from Orlando and back and I missed more than I saw, I think. I practically had to look at everything at a walk, not stopping for almost anything. This was before the Atlantis got there and the tours of the VAB and other places started up again, so naturally I wanna go back. BAD.

MCroft04
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Posts: 1247
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 12-16-2013 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I suggest saving at least half an hour to enjoy the Gemini 9 spacecraft. You can peer inside it, walk around it, and re-create Cernan's spacewalk from hell. Incidentally, Gene was asked during his visit in November if he ever visited the spacecraft. He does and had just paid it a visit (I believe the day before).

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2323
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 12-16-2013 09:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Last time (earlier this year) I was at KSC we did the astronaut presentation, then Hall of Fame (since that opens later), and then waited for autographs in the gift shop. One of your own item autographed plus buying for $9.95 a litho that you can get signed as well. I don't know if there's a limit to the lithos, I once bought two in addition to my item signed.

We also always do the Shuttle Launch Experience.

Haven't been there since Atlantis opened, but yes, you do need two days to see everything KSC has, particularly if you do one of the tours.

The KSC ticket is also good for the Hall of Fame if used within two days, if I recall correctly. If you plan on going to KSC at least twice in a year, buy the yearly pass which will save you money over two daily admissions (plus parking, which isn't included in the daily pass.)

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 1466
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 12-17-2013 04:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
If you plan on going to KSC at least twice in a year, buy the yearly pass which will save you money over two daily admissions (plus parking, which isn't included in the daily pass).
While still a good deal for those who have plan on coming back, however for those who have not been in a while, the annual pass pricing has changed dramatically. Parking is only included in the "Atlantis Annual Pass" package which is now $89 per year when general admission is $50 for adults.

The Air Force Space & Missile Museum on Cape Canaveral is worth the visit but check for the hours of operation before you go.

4allmankind
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Posts: 748
From: NJ
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 12-17-2013 07:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently found that the Astronaut Hall of Fame is no longer a full (or even half) day affair. I visited in November and was a bit disappointed when compared to previous visits as many of the cases were nearly half empty from what they had once been.

The gift shop, which I always enjoyed visiting, is now permanently closed as well.

The AHOF is still a must visit given the great items that remain on exhibit but I would suggest that the museum can now be fully done in around 2 hours.

J.L
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Posts: 449
From: Bloomington, Illinois, USA
Registered: May 2005

posted 12-17-2013 10:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for J.L   Click Here to Email J.L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't forget about the Space Walk of Fame museum just off the main drive through downtown Titusville. It is probably the best thing going right now. Free admission, and FREE parking as well. Primarily run by former Cape workers, and also has monuments from the various programs that remember Cape folks who made it all happen.

18blue78
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Posts: 5
From: UK
Registered: Aug 2013

posted 12-18-2013 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 18blue78     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for all the great suggestions, all of this is going to help me plan my visit. Many thanks again.

Ronpur
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Posts: 387
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 12-18-2013 05:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All good suggestions, but my don't forget extra camera batteries because you will take a LOT of pictures! And if you plan on buying stuff, do it last, before you leave.

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