CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Kennedy Space Center visitors can now
upgrade their experience to include a NASA Up Close tour that
provides what the center's visitor complex officials call "an
insider's view of America's space shuttle program from launch
preparation to lift off."
The 90-minute tour is conducted by an authority on the space
program and follows, at one point, the same route the astronauts
take on launch day.
Other highlights include:Space Shuttle Launch Pads 39 A and B. A close view of the
structures offers an improved photo location featuring shots of the
two pads side by side and the Atlantic Ocean in the
background.The NASA Press Site Launch Countdown Clock. It provides a good
location for commemorative photos.The Vehicle Assembly Building. This is the second-largest such
building in the world, housing each space shuttle before it rolls
out.The Shuttle Landing Facility. This is the world's longest and
widest landing strip.The Crawler Transporter and Crawlerway. This 8 million-pound
vehicle transports the shuttle to the launch pad.
The new NASA Up Close tours, which operate daily at 11 a.m.,
12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., are more in-depth than the standard tour,
which includes a visit to the center's many exhibits and admission
to a pair of Imax motion pictures as well as a regular bus tour
that visits the LC-39 Observation Gantry, the Apollo/Saturn V
Center and the International Space Station Center.
Admission to the visitor complex is $24 for adults (defined as
ages 12 and older) and $15 for children ages 3 to 11.
Upgrading to the NASA Up Close tour costs an additional $20,
making the total cost $44 for adults and $35 for children. Group
rates are not offered for the tour.
Reservations for the NASA Up Close tour can be made up to 30
days ahead by calling (321) 449-4444. Capacity for the tour is
However, a space center spokesman said that most of the tours do
not reach that size.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open from 9 a.m.
until dusk everyday except Christmas, and on certain launch
The complex is a 45-minute drive east of Orlando.
For more information, contact Alison Musarra, sales manager, at
(321) 449-4241 or visit the Web site at www.kennedyspacecenter.com.