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Access restricted areas with two new bus tours at Kennedy Space Center

by Susan and Simon Veness

Journey through history and gain access to restricted areas of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station onboard two new Kennedy Space Center bus tours.

Kennedy Space Center bus tour
Photos courtesy of Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s bus tours have given visitors unprecedented access to locations around the birthplace of American space flight, and now the center offers two new tours –The Cape Canaveral Early Space Tour and the Cape Canaveral Rise to Space tour – available on select dates each week.

Cape Canaveral Early Space Tour

Kennedy Space Center bus tour location Blockhouse 26
Guests visit Blockhouse 26 during the Cape Canaveral Early Space Tour and the Cape Canaveral Rise to Space tour.

Visit the sites of the Mercury and Gemini launches while hearing stories about America’s unwavering spirit in the early days of space exploration.

The tour begins at the Air Force Space & Missile Museum at Cape Canaveral’s Pad 26, where the United States completed its first successful launch of a manmade satellite.

Journey through time as you view the sites of the Mercury and Gemini launches. Check out launch pads along the ocean’s shorefront, John Glenn’s Pad 14 Blockhouse launchpad, and Launch Complex 34’s moving memorial to the crew of Apollo 1.

Finish at the Apollo/Saturn V Center, a highlight for space enthusiasts.

Cape Canaveral Early Space Tour costs $25 per adult, $19 ages three-11, tax not included. Tours take place on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, starting at 11 a.m., and each tour is led by a space expert.

Cape Canaveral Rise to Space Tour

Hanger C
Guests visit Hanger C during the Cape Canaveral Rise to Space tour.

This tour grants access to restricted and historic areas of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, accompanied by a space expert who will take guests to launch sites, the Sands Space History Center, the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, and Hanger C (the oldest surviving structure at the Cape, built and used for missile assembly).

Tour groups will see artifacts in Hanger C, such as America’s first intercontinental ballistic missile, the Atlas; a Firebird missile, the only one known to still be in existence; and early space exploration artifacts, including “boiler plates” used in simulation training exercises during the Gemini and Apollo programs.

Closed-toe shoes are required, and guests must be age 14 or older to participate.

The tour –which takes place on – costs $75 per person, and does not include admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Tickets must be purchased at least five days in advance to allow for security protocols. Tours run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, starting at 11 a.m.

Experiences included during each of the two bus tours may vary, depending on operational requirements, launch schedules, and availability.

Restrictions apply for all guests taking either tour, whether citizens of the U.S. or non-citizens.

All guests booking the tours must:

– pre-register for identity verification

– fill out a form prior to purchasing tickets, detailing each guest’s name, date of birth, country of birth, and passport or government-issued ID information

– bring their documentation and present it when requested (guests without documentation will not be allowed to join the tour)

– register with visitor complex security officers between 8:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. on the day of their tour

U.S. citizens ages 18 and up must present a government-issued driver’s license, passport, military ID, or U.S. state ID card.

International adult and child visitors must present an original, valid passport. Photocopies will not be accepted.

For more information, visit KennedySpaceCenter.com.


Visiting NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for the first time
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