Tag Archives | Kennedy Space Center

Historic Event Adds Excitement to Holiday Celebration at KSC

KSC LaunchTheme parks are a great way to add excitement to any holiday vacation in Central Florida, but when a historical event takes place at the same time, the excitement launches to a new level…literally. Tomorrow’s launch of a Delta IV rocket is the first spaceflight for NASA’s new Orion spacecraft. Orion will take humans farther into space than they’ve ever gone before!

Not only is the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex all decked out for the holidays, it is also filled with camera crews, special interactive displays, models of Mars and Orion, as well as special guests. Correspondents, experts and writers will be providing tourists with an insight into their experiences as they cover past launches and this historic event. Rarely do you get to have an experience like this and have it included in regular admission!

If you want to spend an additional $20 to get closer to the launch, you’ll have to get up very early. Buses begin transporting guests at 3:00 a.m. (until 6:00 a.m.) for the Apollo/Saturn V Center where the launch pad is just a few miles away. At this special viewing location, you’ll experience the powerful sights and sounds of the historic launch. View the live launch countdown and hear commentary from NASA experts. Even at the Visitor Complex viewing location (included with admission), the coverage will be extensive.

After the early morning launch (schedule for December 4, 7:04 a.m.) enjoy all the attractions this theme park has to offer. A 41-foot Christmas tree and Holiday Rocket Garden Light Show are just a few of the extras you’ll enjoy during the holiday season. There is plenty to do and see during the 4.5-hour Orion flight. Coverage will continue as the spacecraft reenters Earth’s atmosphere at speeds near 20,000 mph! Orion will land in the Pacific Ocean where the U.S. Navy and NASA will recover the spacecraft.

If you plan to visit KSC later in December, there is plenty of exciting things to see and do. From December 22-31, a 3-D projection mapping presentation will be shown on the side of the 223-foot-long Saturn 1B rocket. The show takes guests through NASA history, including the first launches to the moon, the space shuttle program, assembly of the International Space Station and other developments. Then from December 26-31, a Holiday Laser Light Spectacular will be shown at dusk.

Always check the KSC web site for details concerning a launch. The date, time, and viewing opportunities are always subject to change. Launches can be affected by technical and mechanical issues as well as range operations and weather, either in advance or at the last minute. The mission is not without risks. View this video to see what NASA is up against during this amazing launch!

While we enjoy the holiday season, hopefully NASA will be busy gathering all of the information collected during this exciting holiday launch. Perhaps its next voyage will include a crew! These journeys certainly fill the need for peace and hope for humankind. Go Orion!!

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to Feature Angry Birds

Angry Birds Space Image

A new space encounter attraction at KSC is coming in March. Guests at this Central Florida theme park will have the opportunity to enter the Angry Birds wormhole and choose to interact with several exhibits featuring the famous birds. Even guests who are not familiar with the game may be drawn into this interactive experience.

Angry Birds is a video game that started as a simple Apple iOS download for touchscreen devices late in 2009. Its popularity prompted developer Rovio Entertainment to design versions for other operating systems, including video game consoles and PCs. The game began as a player using a slingshot to launch angry birds at pigs with the intent of destroying all the pigs on the playing field. Since then, it has evolved with numerous levels, updates, versions and editions. There is even talk of a feature film or television series in the future. The game is addictive, comical and, because of its low price, has been downloaded over 1 billion times.

At the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests will be able to interact with the Angry Birds in several different ways. They can create their own Angry Bird on a computer screen; these wingless birds have all sorts of outfits, feather/hair color and accessories. However, their eyebrows are always pointed downward in a scorned position even when the character seems to want to smile.

If puzzles are your passion, there will be an Angry Birds sliding puzzle game at the attraction which upon success will reveal an Angry Bird character. There will also be, of course, the opportunity to show off your slingshot skills in an Angry Birds target game. You can also experience the Danger Zone mirror maze, the Red Planet Laser Challenge and have a photo taken with the Angry Birds (on a green screen background) to remember your experience at this Central Florida attraction.

Angry Birds Park Logo ImageWith Angry Birds rated as one of the most mainstream and popular games out there, KSC is hoping it will bring guests in and give them yet another fun thing to do in Central Florida. It has already been a success at a Finland amusement park called Särkänniemi where an entire portion of the theme park is dedicated to Angry Birds rides and games. So who knows how far these birds will fly here in Central Florida!

The cost to enter the Angry Birds wormhole is included in the price of admission at KSC. Adult tickets at this Florida attraction are usually $50 while children cost $40. Information and tickets are available online at www.kennedyspacecenter.com.

Christmas Day Plans

More and more places are staying open on Christmas Day. My emotions pull me back and forth concerning this. For one, it is good that the economy will be positively effected by this additional day of business. However, it is sad that a holiday such as Christmas, is not set aside for all families to be together.

Our household is good example. Due to my three grown children’s work schedule, we will not be all together at one time. We are having our main “Christmas” this evening, and a “mini-Christmas” tomorrow. Two will work today (one will miss out on dinner), one works tomorrow. Tonight is the only time my oldest can bring my 2-year-old granddaughter for grammy to enjoy for a few hours. Even though it only allows a short time for a family gathering, we’ll make the most of it and try again next holiday.

Astronaut Jon McBride

Astronaut Jon McBride will be at KSC on Christmas Day.

The theme parks in Central Florida offer a unique way for families to spend Christmas Day together. For the first time ever, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be open on Christmas Day. Families in the area that want to do something different should definitely check it out. If you have children ages 3-11, they can get in FREE (one child per paying adult)!

“Holidays in Space” will be in full swing on Christmas Day at this Florida attraction. Santa and Mrs. Claus will drop in and carolers will be strolling through the decorated venue. Holiday traditions from countries that partner up with the International Space Station can be enjoyed. If you go, spend the additional fee to go on the KSC Up-Close Tour. While the VAB tour will continue through the next year, the LCC and launch pad tours are set to end March 31, 2013. See them while you can.

You can purchase your advance tickets at www.kennedyspacecenter.com, but the free child ticket is only available at the front gate ticket plaza. So open your presents on Christmas Day and have a most wonderful gift of all – spending a day with your loved ones at the Kennedy Space Center. It is good for the economy and great for families.

Editor’s Note: Capone’s Dinner & Show is also open on Christmas Day. In fact, we’re open every day of the year! On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Al has a special gift for those who come to the show. It is “the family” gathering you’ll want to attend on this special holiday!

Kennedy Space Center Ticket Deal: Out of This World!

The Kenneday Space Center (KSC) Visitor Complex is offering a ticket deal that is out of this world! In celebration of their 50th anniversary, KSC has annual passes available for the low price of $50 for adults and $46 for children ages 3-11. This offer amounts to a 30% savings. It is called the 50th Gold Admission Package and must be pre-purchased in advance either online or by phone.

This special ticket covers the usual attractions of the IMAX films, rocket garden, Hubble telescope and the Shuttle Launch Experience, however it goes beyond any regular ticket offered. It also comes with select rocket launch viewings, savings of $4.50 on tickets for friends or family you might want to bring along, 10% off select merchandise at The Space Shop and admission to seasonal events such as the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame induction, the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 17 and Holidays in Space. This offer is good through December 31, 2012, but not valid on December 25th.

For fifty years, John F. Kennedy Space Center has been the gateway to space. From carrying astronauts into space aboard rockets and space shuttles to building the vision and the future of all things space-related, the journey begins and ends with Kennedy Space Center. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience all that KSC has to offer. For year-round fun, education and entertainment that really is out of this world, visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com or call 866-737-5235.

Congratulations to the KSC for 50 years of what many Americans see as our Country’s finest. It makes us proud!

Holidays in Space?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to celebrate the holidays in outer space? How about in another country? Now at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, you can learn what it’s like to celebrate the holidays aboard the ISS with astronauts and cosmonauts from other countries. Now through January 1, the Space Center is hosting its first-ever “Holidays in Space” event.

During this special celebration, visitors can learn about holiday traditions in countries that are partners of the Interenational Space Station, including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and of course, the United States. A mural just outside the Rocket Garden is filled with information about the holiday customs of each partner country. Decorative wreaths and garland throughout the Visitor Complex add to the international holiday celebration.

A section of the Rock Garden is also set up with a 40-foot-by-40-foot Space Skating Rink with a synthetic, polymer surface. Guests can enjoy 20-minute skating sessions beginning on the hour and half-hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., for $10 including skate rental ($8 for ages 3-11).  Here you will also find a 42-foot Christmas tree decorated with Space Station themed ornaments, lights and flags from the ISS partner countries.

If you’d like to watch the crew in space, you can see actual images prior to every IMAX film.  You can even send a holiday greeting e-mail  to the crew. Perhaps you have someone in your family that would rather send a letter to Santa this time of year, instead of the astronauts. They’re in luck, because guests can hand deliver their letters directly to Santa five times daily (10 – 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., 3 – 4 p.m., 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.) through December 24th. He’ll be in his Launch Control Center, located near the IMAX theater. If you’re lucky, you can catch Mrs. Claus reading a special space-themed story for kids of all ages. She’ll make appearances at 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily.

A team of international carolers wearing astronaut flight suits will perform traditional holiday songs throughout the day. Holidays in Space is part of the regular admission price which is $43/adult and $33/kids 3-11, with exception of the skating, the commemorative 2011 Holidays in Space ornament, and Santa’s special holiday cookies. They are available for a nominal fee and feature a different cookie daily from around the world.

If you’re wanting to experience the holidays from a different perspective, go to the Kennedy Space Center this season. You’ll learn how to celebrate the holidays in another country or while in outer space. Actually celebrating in another country or in outer space is another matter. Unless Santa has been very good to you, you’ll have to let your imagination launch you from there.