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closer view of shuttle launch site
Mega Tour - Kennedy Space Center
Closest available address
Visitor center is about 14 miles from Titusville via US-1 then 405
Hours vary - generally open 9:00am-5:00pm. Tours should be reserved in advance.
Best time to visit
The Mega Tour at the Kennedy Space Center was a former narrated bus tour with visits to the Vehicle Assembly Building, a Space Shuttle launch site and the Launch Control Center. The tour lasted approximately 3 hours and departed from the main visitor center complex. The shuttle launch site and control center are still accessible on current bus tours. However, the interior of the assembly building is now off limits since it's being used to build the next generation US space rocket called Space Launch System (SLS).
The Kennedy Space Center and the neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station have been used for rocket and missile launches for over 50 years. Mercury and Gemini rockets took off from Cape Canaveral in the 1960s, and the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs operated at Kennedy from the late 1960s to 2011. The SLS rocket is scheduled to make its first test flight from Kennedy in 2017 and will provide the capacity for long distance space missions such as to an asteroid and potentially one day to Mars.
In lieu of a visit to the Launch Control Center, the tour stopped at a bleacher with a distant view of the Vehicle Assembly Building. The view was OK, but the control center would have been more interesting. The next stop at the Vehicle Assembly Building was impressive. One of the largest buildings in the world by volume, this is where the Saturn 5 Rockets and the Space Shuttles were prepared for launches. Also notable was a 6 million pound crawler/transporter used to transport rockets from the assembly building to the launch pad. If you ever watched Space Shuttle launches on TV, a visit to the launch pad will be immediately recognizable. Walking around the foundation of this facility, one can still see burn marks on the concrete from the heat of shuttle engines. The tour guide was informative and shared some interesting trivia factoids. Although this tour is defunct, the sites visited rate higher than those on the Then and Now Tour. If you have extra time after checking out the Saturn V Center and the Space Shuttle Atlantis, this type of tour is not a bad follow-up to see parts of the working facility.
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Kennedy Space Center
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