How to Plan a School Trip to the Kennedy Space Center

7 July 2016

For science and technology students, a trip to Orlando’s Kennedy Space Center doesn’t just provide them with an unparalleled insight into space exploration, but will truly bring their learning to life.

With learning experiences including everything from shuttle launch simulators and interactive space exhibits to a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet a veteran NASA astronaut, pupils are sure to come away with a whole new perspective of the universe we live in. To help you plan your next school trip to the Kennedy Space Center, we’ve picked out five unforgettable experiences that have to be included on your itinerary.

Shuttle Launch Experience

Ever wondered what an astronaut really goes through when they’re launched into space? The Shuttle Launch Experience is one of the world’s best space launch simulators, teaching students about the pre-launch procedures, as well as letting them relive the whole exhilarating process!

As you enter the shuttle, you’ll hear the personal stories of NASA astronauts as they recount their own real-life space missions. Moving into the heart of the space craft, students will be taken through the pre-launch briefing, before they strap in and prepare for take-off.

Then the best part – the launch! Experience simulated speeds of 17,500 miles an hour, feel the g-forces pushing you back against your seat and then, as you reach orbit, let the sensation of weightlessness take over and feel what it’s really like to be an astronaut.

IMAX Theater 

A fantastic learning opportunity for budding scientists, at the IMAX Theater you can either choose to find out more about NASA’s bold plans for deep space exploration in the film, Journey to Space, or discover more about planet Earth by watching A Beautiful Planet.

Watching the fascinating documentaries through 3D glasses, you can see the jaw dropping images of space come to life before your eyes. The films are even narrated by Hollywood actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, making the whole experience even more memorable. Can’t choose between the two films? Schedule time to watch both!

Astronaut Encounter

One of the highlights of the Kennedy Space Center, students will get the opportunity to meet a veteran NASA astronaut and listen first-hand to their space experience. After a short multimedia presentation about the astronaut’s individual experience, students will then be invited to ask questions, so it’s a good idea to have a few prepared!

Whether you’ve got a burning question about what it’s really like to be in space, want to know what it takes to become an astronaut or have a question about that astronaut’s individual experience, now is the time to ask! There will also be an opportunity to have a photo, so don’t forget your camera!

Apollo/Saturn V Centre

The Apollo/Saturn V Centre is a must for all school groups as it’s one of the best places to learn about the history of space travel. Learn about the thrill of the space race between the USA and Russia, and reflect upon the moment the world held their breath on 20th July 1969 as Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin took their first steps on the moon. 

Also in the Apollo/Saturn V Centre is the almighty Saturn V rocket, the largest rocket ever made. Stand beneath the enormous 363-foot rocket which transported 27 courageous astronauts to the moon and back, and marvel at the size of the incredible space craft. This area is also the only place in the world where can reach out and touch a moon rock – definitely one stop on the tour not to be missed!

Kennedy Space Centre bus tour

Short of becoming an astronaut, there’s no better way to get a glimpse of Kennedy Space Center than on the Kennedy Space Center Tour (KSC Tour). Take a NASA bus for a drive-by view of a launch pad and then experience the historic Apollo 8 launch site and marvel at a massive 363-foot-long Saturn V moon rocket at the Apollo/Saturn V Center.

As well as all of the above, there are lot's of other exciting Science based visits in Orlando. Some of these include:

  • Y.E.S. Programme  Science Workshops and Disney Parks entry

  • Science Workshop and Universal Studios Resort Entry

  • Orlando Science Center including Live shows and workshops

  • Boggy Creek Air Boat rides

  • Orlando Zoo and Botanical Gardens