Florida Spacecoast

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Florida's Spacecoast consists of Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Palm Bay and Titusville. Kennedy Space Center is the big tourist draw but there are lots of great things to do, some spacey, some not.

Contents

Space and Aviation

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Tweeps are sometimes given complementary passes to the Kennedy Space Center and Visitor Complex (KSCVC) which are also good for an additional day at the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

A tour is included with the price of admission to visitors center and includes stops at the Space Station Processing Facility where you'll see the (now pretty much idle) clean rooms where space station modules were prepped for launch. You'll also stop at the Saturn V center as well as winding you way through KSC property with a video guide onboard the bus pointing out the sights. Many bus drivers are retired KSC workers or have been in the area for many years and will share their own experiences to personalize the tour a bit.

KSC also offers additional guided tours (an additional guide is onboard the bus in addition to the driver). Children (3-11) are $6 less. Both are 3 hours in duration and start at the visitors complex and end at the Saturn V center. Each guest is provided with a guidebook with information about the history of the complexes and at the end of the tour is given a small item, usually a holographic bookmark/ruler. Tours are cancelled when launches are scheduled and they do sell out several weeks in advance.

The $25 KSC Up-Close Tour includes a walk inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) where you might see a space shuttle orbiter being prepped for display in their new homes. You'll also see the shuttle landing facility and pass just outside the perimeter of launch complex 39 pads and step out at an area where remote cameras are setup between the pads.

The $21 KSC Then and Now tour includes stops at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum (see below), launch complex 34 to view the memorial to Apollo I astronauts, and a brief stop for photos at the Mercury memorial. The bus also makes its way through the historic launch pads throughout CCAFS.

A good rundown of what there is to see and do is here by tweetup alum @eileenludwig

Astronaut Hall of Fame

Also run by Delaware North, admission is included with admission to the KSCVC. The Hall of Fame portion of the museum is only a small part of the overall museum. Lots of artifacts from manned missions including Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and shuttle. Spacecraft on display include Mercury 7, Gemini trainer and a mockup shuttle trainer. Also features Science on A Sphere.

U.S. Space Walk of Fame

This non-profit museum is housed in a storefront in downtown Titusville a block from the walk of fame itself. The museum is several rooms crammed full of models, real mission hardware, and flight suits. Kids will have fun flipping switches and putting on headsets at consoles from the Atlas/Centaur Launch Control Room. more information is here

Air Force Space and Missile Museum and History Center

There are two parts to this museum, one is on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (the museum) and can be visited only through a couple of methods (read on) and the other is the history center just outside the main gate of CCAFS. The Air Force Space and Missile History Center is open Tuesday - Friday 9-2, Saturday 9-5 and Sunday noon-5 and admission is free. Directions are here. As a bonus it's right behind the (modest) SpaceX building. website The History Center is modest and contained in a single large room but is definitely worth a visit if just to see the displays for each of the launch pads on CCAFS. There are a number of artifacts including engines and a case dedicated to Alan Shepard.

The original museum opened in 1966 on the grounds of the adjoining Launch Complex 26 (site of the first successful launch of an American satellite, Explorer i) and Launch Complex 5/ (site of the first launch of an American astronaut, Alan Shepard). CCAFS and KSC employees may visit the museum with their badges. Others can visit either by taking the Then and Now tour from the KSC Visitors complex (see above) or a free 3 hour tour operated by the Air Force, check the schedule here for availability. The AF tour includes a stop, and climb up the Cape Canaveral Lighthosue. More information on the AF tour is available here, or email ccafstours@patrick.af.mil or call Patrick Murphy @321-494-5945. Note that both tours are generally not available right around launch days and may be cancelled if launches are pushed back.

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