Kennedy Space Center Launches First-Ever Space Shuttle Launch Pad Tours


space shuttle launch pad
Photo by Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

For the first time in its history, travelers can take a tour of a Space Shuttle Launch Pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

This program is the third in a series of behind-the-scenes tours Kennedy Space Center has launched in recent months. Other tours include a chance to access the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), where the Apollo Saturn V rockets and Space Shuttle were assembled, and a tour of NASA’s Launch Control Center (LCC). Read more about these tours here:

Visitors on the KSC Up-Close: Launch Pad Tour will be guided a quarter-mile inside the perimeter security fence to Launch Pad 39-A, which hosted a majority of Space Shuttle launches and all six Apollo missions that landed on the Moon. Near the launch pad, visitors will have the opportunity to exit the tour bus for photos and experience close views of the 350 foot high service structure and other launch pad systems.

“Visitors will travel the same route as astronauts to the launch pad, so they can imagine being an astronaut,” said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, in a written release. “You’re going to be close to where history has been made and will be made in the future with new programs currently under development for space exploration.”

Then travelers will drive by Launch Pad 39-B, which launched the Saturn 1B / Skylab missions and many Space Shuttle missions. Currently, this pad is being modernized to prepare for launching NASA’s new Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket.

The Launch Pad Tour also includes drive-by views of the VAB, the mobile launch platform and one of the crawler transporters that was used to move the Apollo rockets and shuttles to the launch pads. The tour ends at the Apollo / Saturn V Center.

The tour is priced at $25 for adults and $19 for children (aged 3-11), in addition to the general admission price. The tour will run through the end of 2012, with a limited number of daily tours.

To celebrate the Kennedy Space Center’s 50th anniversary, the Visitor Complex is offering two special offers with up to 30 percent off admission, food and merchandise as well as secure access to view rocket launches. For more information visit: