“A Day at the Kennedy Space Center”

On Wednesday, 24 November 2004, we had planned to fly to Columbia, SC to visit my aunt and uncle and their family for Thanksgiving. We arrived at the Orlando Airport around 7:30 a.m. and found the kiosks at the Delta check-in area to be very busy. When we finally got to an open kiosk we found it wasn’t working properly and tried to get the attention of one of the attendants. We finally did and he tried the kiosk and couldn’t get it to work either so he told us to pick up the “white phone.” When we explained our situation to the voice on the phone we were told that we had passed the required time to check in and would not be allowed to board our flight. The fact that we arrived on time and were now “late” because of their malfunctioning equipment made no difference . . . we were now late and that’s that!! I won’t dwell on the rest of that conversation. Let’s just say that from this time until eternity we will ALWAYS try to book flights with Joe’s Puddle Jumper Airlines before we book with DELTA.

The next flight to Columbia was not until 7:30 p.m. so we were going to miss the whole day with the family. So now what? Go back to our condo and wait all day? By this time it was about 8:30 a.m., so we decided to go to the Kennedy Space Center which we had planned to visit before we left the Orlando area anyway. What started as a bad day actually turned out great as the KSC is a fascinating place to visit.

The KSC is located about 55 miles east of Orlando. We would give you the address, but this is from their website: The Kennedy Space Center (KSC) itself actually does not have a physical address because it is comprised of many facilities spread out over 144,000 acres. It has its own postal zip code. The KSC Visitor Complex is located on KSC property and is located near the intersection of State Road 405 and State Road 3. If you are looking for driving directions, you can go to a mapping website such as www.mapquest.com and put “KSC” in the “city” section, “FL” in the state section, and “32899” in the zip code section. It will pull up a map with the center of the map in the restricted area of KSC. Then just zoom out to level 6 and you should see generally how to get to the Visitor Complex although it is not marked on that particular map.

STANDARD ADMISSION: The Standard Admission ticket which provides admission to the Kennedy Space Center tour, all the Visitor Complex movies, exhibits and shows. This ticket does not include admission to the Astronaut Hall of Fame or use of its simulators. Please Note: Access to Kennedy Space Center is restricted on certain launch days. These tickets do not include Space Shuttle launch viewing or access to the Kennedy Space Center on launch day. Call 321-449-4444 for hours of operation on launch day. For Space Shuttle launch viewing tickets, please visit the Launch Viewing Tickets section of this site.

Adult Standard Admission: $30.00
Child Standard Admission (ages 3 to 11 yrs): $20.00

HOURS OF OPERATION: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open every day of the year, except December 25 and certain launch days. Current operating hours are from 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. (The Astronaut Hall of Fame is open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER BUS TOUR: Runs approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Tours start at 10:00 a.m. and run continuously every 15 minutes. Last tour departs at 2:50 p.m. There are two stops along the way, the LC-39 Observation Gantry and the Apollo/Saturn V Center.

The 60-foot-tall Launch Complex 39 Observation Gantry provides a breathtaking 360-view of the two giant Shuttle Launch Pads, 39A and 39B. The panorama also encompasses the Launch Control Center, the well-traveled crawlerway and the massive Vehicle Assembly Building. A theater presentation and interactive room at the gantry’s base give you a behind-the-scenes briefing on what it takes to launch and land every NASA Space Shuttle.

It was truly a great day, even though it started out sour. If you’re ever in the area be sure to put the Kennedy Space Center on your “must see” list. By the way, we did make it back to the Orlando Airport to catch our flight to Columbia where we had a great Thanksgiving, albeit a day shorter than we’d planned.

Map to KSC from Orlando

The mouse roll-over feature will not work on this map.

Go to http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/interactive-map.aspx to get this map for that function to work.



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