If you, your kids, or your grandkids have always wanted to meet an astronaut and have them tell you what it’s like to live and work in space, the Kennedy Space Center has some good news for you.
“For the first time in almost 2 years, astronauts are coming back to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex!” the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) explains.
What’s even better is that there are two opportunities to meet the astronauts.
The first event, which is an “add-on experience,” so there is an additional fee, is called “Chat with an Astronaut.” During the event, an astronaut will sit down in what’s billed as “a casual, small-group setting” to answer questions and explain what it’s like living and working in space. What’s more, food and drinks will be served during the event.
“With plenty of time for an engaging Q&A session, you are sure to leave feeling truly acquainted with a space pioneer and equipped with incredible stories to share for years to come,” the KSC explains.
The second chance to speak with an astronaut, which is included in the daily admission, is called an “Astronaut Encounter.”
“Each day at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visitors get the rare opportunity to meet veteran NASA astronauts,” KSC explains. “During Astronaut Encounter, commanders, pilots, and mission and payload specialists who have lived and worked in space share their experiences during a live presentation and question & answer session. You may also visit the Astronaut of the Day at The Space Shop or Shuttle Express for his or her autograph.”
A Historical Setting
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, about 45 minutes outside of Orlando, Florida, is divided into what’s known as “Mission Zones.” They include Heroes & Legends, Behind the Gates, Race to the Moon, Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other, and NASA: Now and Next.
The Chat with an Astronaut and Astronaut Encounters take place in the Heroes & Legends Mission Zone. That area also includes several other important experiences, such as the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, which is “envisioned as a place where American astronauts are remembered and honored,” so visitors can “learn about the lives of space heroes through compelling displays,” according to KSC.
In addition to Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo, Heroes & Legends also includes the Rocket Garden, where visitors can see rockets from NASA’s Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, which stand “as tribute to the scientists and engineers who turned dreams of spaceflight into reality,” the KSC explains.
“When you tour among these giants, you are walking among incredible, authentic machines that pioneered America’s space exploration,” the KSC explains. “Most of the rockets you see today are real, though never flown in space.”
Know Before You Go
The Astronaut Encounter is offered every day. You can check here to learn about showtimes and autograph opportunities.
Chat with an Astronaut includes a continental breakfast during the morning session or chef’s choice of samplings during the afternoon session. A commemorative gift and signed portrait of the astronaut are also included.
It should be noted that fees for this experience are in addition to daily admission fees. You can learn more about the fees, dates, and times, as well as purchase tickets for Chat with an Astronaut here.
If you’re interested in visiting the Kennedy Space Center, be sure to also read Everything You Need To Know About Visiting Kennedy Space Center and Tips For Experiencing A Rocket Launch At Kennedy Space Center.