Touring the Kennedy Space Center is already a cool experience. Now you can do it with a NASA veteran as your guide.
NASA has brought back the Fly With An Astronaut program at the Merritt Island, Florida, facility. Astronauts Mark Lee and Brian Duffy will be the first to lead small groups around the facility.
Both Lee and Duffy flew on four shuttle missions during their careers, including Endeavour, Discovery, and Atlantis. Duffy served as both a pilot and commander on his missions.
The experience begins at 9:15 a.m. and lasts for 5 hours. It includes insights from the astronauts, an up-close look at the space center, and a catered lunch with the astronauts and tour group of about 40 people.
Visitors will get a private viewing of Space Shuttle Atlantis and take part in the Shuttle Launch Experience, all while touring the space center in a motor coach with an astronaut leading the way.
The Shuttle Launch Experience allows participants “to feel what it’s like to launch into space on a shuttle traveling 17,500 mph, accompanied by a veteran NASA astronaut,” according to NASA.
The lunch will include stories from your astronaut guide, as well as a question and answer session.
After the 5-hour group tour is complete, guests can then continue to the Apollo/Saturn V Center on their own for as long as they’d like.
Guests will also receive a special pin as part of the tour.
The experience is not cheap. The cost is $206 per person, with tickets for children ages 3–11 at $181. Admission to the visitor complex is included with the ticket.
Space center officials warn that the tour may not be suitable for younger children due to the 5-hour length.
The program re-launches on January 13. Space here is very limited, with only three tours available each month for the coming months. Available dates can be found on the program’s booking site.
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