NASA Space Center Tours

Want to tour a NASA space center? You’re in luck because there are a number of centers that offer tours.

A few of these space centers are launch sites for spacecraft while others are research laboratories or astronaut training facilities. These space centers have visitor centers where they welcome visitors and they also offer tours of their facilities.

Have you been on any of these tours? Leave a comment below and let us know what it was like!

The following is a list of NASA space center tours:

Marshall Space Flight Center:

Address: Martin Rd SW, Huntsville, AL

Website: www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/about/visitor.html

The George C. Marshall Space Flight Center is a rocket and spacecraft propulsion research center located on the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.

MSFC is NASA’s largest center and its first mission was to develop the Saturn launch vehicles for the Apollo program.

The center was also responsible for the design and assembly of the International Space Center and the creation of the Space Shuttle Launch System.

Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama

The center is home to the Hunstville Operations Support Center which supports ISS launch, payload, and experiment activities at the Kennedy Space Center and monitors rocket launches from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station when a Marshall Center payload is onboard.

Visitors are welcomed at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Marshall’s official Visitor Center. The center used to offer public bus tours of MSFC but these tours have been temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Space an Rocket Center features the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia in the world, exhibits about the International Space Station and a G-Force Accelerator.

In addition, the center also offers Astronaut Chats with NASA astronauts, a space camp experience for both adults and children, space academy for both adults and children, a family space academy, an underwater astronaut training experience, and a flight simulator experience.

Kennedy Space Center:

Address: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL

Website: www.kennedyspacecenter.com

The Kennedy Space Center is one of NASA’s 10 field centers and is located in Florida.

Since 1968, the Kennedy Space Center has been NASA’s primary launch center of human spaceflight and have carried out launch operations for the Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle programs. It is also home to the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at its visitor complex.

Kennedy Space Center in Florida

The Kennedy Space Center welcomes visitors to its Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex which is a space museum dedicated to the various missions of the space program. The complex offers two types of tours: the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour and the KSC Explore Tour.

The Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour is included in the price of admission and is a 15-minute-long tour that includes exclusive areas of the Kennedy Space Center like launch complex 39B and the Vehicle Assembly Building and concludes at Apollo/Saturn V Center.

The KSC Explore Tour is a two-hour tour that goes beyond the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour and makes several stops for photo opportunities and also concludes at Apollo/Saturn V Center. The tour is not included in the price of admission and requires an additional purchase.

In addition to the tours, the complex also offers Astronaut Encounters, a NASA Overnight experience and allows visitors to touch a moon rock collected during the Apollo 17 mission.

Goddard Space Flight Center:

Address: 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD

Website: www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/visitor/home/index.html

The Goddard Space Flight Center is a major NASA space research laboratory in Maryland.

GSFC develops and operates uncrewed scientific spacecraft and also conducts scientific investigation, development, manufacturing and operation of space systems.

The Goddard Visitor Center is free of charge and open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays and features exhibits and displays of the spacecraft and technologies developed there.

Facility tours are available to school, community and cultural groups Tuesday through Friday with prior reservation.

Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland

These facility tours visit satellite construction, testing and operations areas, depending on which areas are available that day. Facility tours are two hours long and also include a guided presentation.

Space Center Houston:

Address: 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX

Website: spacecenter.org

Space Center Houston is the official visitor center for the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Texas.

The Johnson Space Center is a NASA center where NASA astronauts are trained and is also the site of NASA’s Mission Control.

Space Center Houston features space artifacts, space capsules from various missions and lunar samples collected during the Apollo missions.

The center offers three NASA Tram Tours of the NASA Johnson Space Flight facilities: the George W.S. Abbey Rocket Park Tour, the Astronaut Training Facility Tour, and the Historic Mission Control Tour.

The open-air tram tours are 60-90 minutes long and are included in the price of admission but they are very popular and must be booked in advance.

In addition, the center also offers private VIP Tours which are bus tours of the iconic locations at NASA Johnson Space Center, like the Apollo Mission Control Center, Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, International Space Station (ISS) Mission Control, Jake Garn Simulation and Training Facility, the Astronaut Training Facility and the Crew Systems Laboratory.

The VIP Tours are offered as a morning tour or an afternoon tour: the morning tour visits Mission Control and the afternoon tour visits the Astronaut Training facilities. The VIP Tours are only offered on weekdays and guests must be 14 years of age or older.

In addition to the tours, the center also offers Astronaut Encounters, a NASA Overnight experience and also allows visitors to touch a moon rock that was collected during the Apollo 17 mission.

Sources:
NASA VIP Tour.” Space Center Houston, spacecenter.org/exhibits-and-experiences/nasa-vip-tour/
Plan Your Day.” U.S Space and Rocket Center, rocketcenter.com/planyourday
Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour.” Kennedy Space Center, kennedyspacecenter.com/explore-attractions/behind-the-gates/featured-attraction/kennedy-space-center-bus-tour
See Behind the Gates on the Kennedy Space Center Tours.” Kennedy Space Center, kennedyspacecenter.com/explore-attractions/behind-the-gates
KSC Explore Tour.” Kennedy Space Center, kennedyspacecenter.com/explore-attractions/behind-the-gates/kennedy-space-center-explore-tour
Visiting Marshall.” NASA, nasa.gov/centers/marshall/about/visitor.html
Pearlman, Robert Z. “NASA Visitor Centers Launch New Passport for Space Tourists.” Space.com, 13 June. 2013, space.com/21549-nasa-visitor-centers-passport.html
NASA Visitor Center Locations.” NASA, visitnasa.com/
NASA Visitor Centers.” NASA, visitnasa.com/nasa-visitor-centers
Nasa Centers and Facilities.” NASA, nasa.gov/about/sites/index.html

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