Kennedy Space Center Offers Launch Pad Tours

August 3, 2012 by

For the first time, Kennedy Space Center in Florida is letting visitors get a closer look at Launch Pad 39-A, where many space shuttles and all six Apollo missions that landed on the moon were launched.

The “KSC Up-Close: Launch Pad Tour” is one of three limited-release behind-the-scenes tours opened this year in celebration of the Kennedy Space Center’s 50th anniversary.

The tour will take visitors inside the perimeter security fence for an up-close look at the launch pad. Visitors will be able to see the structures that supported and protected the space shuttle, the flame trench (which detected fire and smoke from engines) and the water tanks that fed a noise suppression system.

But perhaps the coolest thing about this insider tour is the ability to travel the same route as astronauts to the launch pad. Visitors will literally walk in the footsteps of great astronauts.

“The launch pad is the last place that I was on Earth before reaching the heavens,” former space shuttle astronaut Jon McBride said in a statement. “You can walk in my shoes.”

The launch pad tour will take place twice daily and will run for about 2 hours. The cost for the tour is $25 for adults and $19 for children (3 to 11) in addition to general admission.

photo credit: Kennedy Space Center

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