2023 has come and gone, and what an exciting year it was for space travel and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex!
New attractions, including Hyperdeck and Blue Origin Simulator, launched guests into all-new immersive experiences like never before. Space Shuttle Atlantis® celebrated 10 years of wowing guests.
High above the visitor complex, Frank Rubio became the first American astronaut to spend more than a year (371 days) in space, bypassing Mark Vande Heis’ record of 355 days achieved on March 30, 2022. Samples from an asteroid were delivered back to Earth. With the Psyche mission, a journey began to study a unique metal asteroid orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter.
Now that 2024 is in full swing, there is plenty more to look forward to at the visitor complex – and beyond!
There were more than 70 launches from Kennedy Space Center in 2023. There is no shortage of them planned for 2024 – as well as opportunities to see one up close and feel the power as it blasts off from one of the many nearby launch pads.
Axiom-3 was the first significant rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center, lifting off on January 18. It was Axiom Space’s third all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) and the first all-European commercial astronaut mission to launch to the space station. On board is Ax-3 Commander Michael López-Alegría, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Spain, Pilot Walter Villadei, Italian Air Force Col. representing Italy, Mission Specialist Alper Gezeravci representing Türkiye, and Mission Specialist Marcus Wandt, ESA project astronaut representing Sweden. Later this year, no earlier than (NET) October, watch for the Axiom-4 mission.
And those aren’t the only crewed launches taking off from Kennedy Space Center in 2024. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission will carry NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, Jeanette Epps, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin to the International Space Station NET February. Crew-8 should return to Earth in late August 2024, following a short handover with the Crew-9 mission consisting of four traveling to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket.
In October 2024, NASA’s Europa Clipper will lift off to investigate Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.
Of course, the best way to experience a launch happening at Kennedy Space Center is from one of the visitor complex’s designated viewing areas, including the Banana Creek Launching Viewing Area at Apollo/Saturn V Center, 3.9 miles (6.27 kilometers) from the closest launch pad. Rocket launches can also be seen from the main visitor complex once the rocket clears the tree line. Please note: Launch viewing opportunities at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex may not be offered for all launches.
Follow the visitor complex on social media and subscribe to our launch alert emails for the latest information on this year’s rocket launches and viewing opportunities!
VISITOR COMPLEX EVENTS
Many of your favorite events are returning to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex – and a few new ones will debut too!
Our 9th annual Space Race on January 19 started the year off on the right foot! On February 2, see the colors of the cosmos come alive during Kennedy Under the Stars, our brand-new after-hours event. Enjoy glow-in-the-dark elements such as a DJ-led techno party, Cosmic Glow Miniature Golf and more. You’ll also be able to mingle with veteran NASA astronauts and enjoy the main visitor complex’s key attractions during the event.
Our lineup for 2024 will continue to rev up with some of your – and our – favorite visitor complex staples including Fly with an Astronaut, the chance to meet an astronaut, the 2024 induction ceremony into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® and, closing out the year, Taste of Space in the fall and Holidays in Space in the winter.
A major space landmark will also happen on Monday, April 8: a total solar eclipse that is crossing over North America. While Florida is not in the path of totality, the visitor complex still plans to recognize this unique opportunity. Check back later for updates.
Check our Events Calendar throughout the year as events are announced for more details and to purchase tickets if required.
OFFERS AND SPECIALS
Parents of little ones who live in Florida will want to take advantage of the Junior Space Explorer Pass, a returning favorite. Children five and under can enjoy free admission to Kennedy Space Visitor Complex in 2024. Register online by February 21, 2024, and bring the required documents to Will Call or the Information building by the end of the year to redeem your passes. Learn more about the Junior Space Explorer Pass by clicking here.
Kennedy Space Center will continue to offer discounted admission for seniors and the U.S. military on 1-day and 2-day tickets, as well as special rates on admission tickets for children ages 3-11. Keep visiting all year long with the Atlantis Annual Pass or the Cosmic Club Family Annual Pass.
Read more about admission and pass options here.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s teams are hard at work creating new experiences for our guests, including interactive exhibits and exciting attractions. Make sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our mailing list for all the latest information as it becomes available!