Space travel is popular again as multiple companies have entered the space arena recently. Americans may have accomplished the moon landing mission in 1969, but we are choosing to go to the moon again – the Artemis space launches will get us there.
While subsequent missions to outer space after that first moon landing have differed in their mission, from visits to the International Space Station to telescope and satellite launches, the fanfare surrounding space exploration remains fervent.
Regardless of whether or not you can get to the Artemis space launch in person, you can be a part of the hype with a visit to Kennedy Space Center almost any day of the year.
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“We Choose To Go to the Moon,” and You Can Be a Part of It
Choosing to go to the moon in 2022 is as impressive as it was twenty years ago. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy (JFK) made his famous “We Choose to Go to the Moon” speech from Houston's Space Center; it would forever change the world. With those words, the space race was on.
As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – which was formed in 1958 – geared up to accomplish this mission, toy companies created playthings with space themes. Television programs jumped on the bandwagon with shows like I Dream of Jeannie.
One of the show's fictional main characters, Captain Anthony Nelson, was an astronaut who lived in Cocoa Beach, just a short drive from Cape Canaveral where NASA has its primary launch site at Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
Kennedy Space Center Has a Long History of Welcoming the Public
The press and public have been invited to KSC to experience the space excitement and see launchpads up close as early as 1961.
In 1964, NASA had exhibits in Space Park at the NYC World's Fair, where Walt Disney would debut his famous “It's a Small World” and “Carousel of Progress” attractions.
Today, Kennedy Space Center is an attraction unto itself, just like its neighbor an hour west, Walt Disney World. You can participate in space exploration when you visit, whether learning about the history of spaceflight or looking towards the future at projects currently underway.
The NASA rockets on display at the World's Fair were much like the ones you can presently see at KSC's historic “Rocket Garden,” which tower above the complex and are partially visible from the parking lot before entering.
Experience the Thrill of Space With a Visit to Kennedy Space Center, Even if You Can't Get to the Artemis Launch
Hundreds of people will drive to Merritt Island, where SpaceX, NASA, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) have launch pads. They'll see Artemis propel into the sky firsthand, from where the rocket sits on launch pad 39-B.
Some people will set up telescopes and cameras on the Space Coast's waterfront to see the launch, scrubbed twice before its September 27, 2022, reschedule.
But whether or not you can see Artemis's launch live, Kennedy Space Center will allow you to visit the moon – and explore outer space – any day of the week.
Kennedy Space Center Simulated Space Flights, Special Events, and Launches
You don't have to undergo astronaut training to fly through space to other planets, visit moons, and engage with the cosmos. For example, a general admission ticket to KSC will give you access to many immersive experiences, including flight simulators and 3D IMAX films.
KSC captures the curiosity of visitors, young and old, who have an interest in our planets, the moon and stars, astronauts, and the teams behind space exploration missions.
KSC also allows space enthusiasts to purchase tickets to special events, whether one of the Artemis space launches or another space launch. (The Artemis launch at the end of September 2022 is just one of several planned Artemis missions over the next few years.)
Plan for the future and stay up-to-date on KSC's future events page even if you can't get to the Artemis Launch (whose viewing tickets are now sold out).
Visit Kennedy Space Center's New “Gateway” Exhibit To Understand Current Projects and Look Toward the Future
A new exhibit at KSC, called Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex, brings visitors into present-day space exploration and the future of Artemis and beyond.
Inside the colossal Gateway building, with an exterior clad in colorful panels that shimmer blue and purple in the Florida sun, you'll find scale models of the International Space Station, the ORION EFT-1 CAPSULE, and a Falcon 9 Booster, to name a few.
After looking at the Boeing-designed Space Suit, head up the indoor ramp to the building's second floor to ride one of four simulator attractions.
KSC includes the Gateway building and many other attractions at the ticket price of $75 per day for guests 12+. But there is so much to see and do here that you may want to buy a 2-day ticket for just $89.
Artemis Launch and Kennedy Space Center Conclusion
Seeing an Artemis space launch in person may be inconsequential when you realize you can be a part of the space fun any day at Kennedy Space Center.
KSC educates its visitors in a magnetizing, awe-inspiring way. The center, with multiple buildings, gardens, educational programs, films, and activities, allows you to learn about the impact of space exploration while staying up-to-date about how it impacts us all – from before to the 1960s to today.
In 1969, seven years after JFK's “We Choose to Go to the Moon” speech, Neil Armstrong radioed back to Earth after his feet touched the moon's surface. His words, broadcast worldwide, live on in glory: “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Today, the space program, partially operated in Merritt Island, Florida, continues these steps in stride. You can be a part of the excitement at Kennedy Space Center.
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