Kennedy Space Center offering behind-the-scenes tours
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
For the first time in the 50-year history of Kennedy Space Center, NASA on Friday will begin allowing public visitors to tour one of the launch pads from which the space shuttles and Apollo Saturn V moon rockets were launched.
The KSC Up-Close: Launch Pad Tour, the latest to open of three special Kennedy Space Center 50th anniversary rare-access tours, takes visitors from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex inside the highly secure Launch Complex 39.
Visitors will travel nearly a quarter-mile inside the perimeter security fence to Launch Pad 39-A, from which a majority of space shuttles and all six Apollo missions that landed on the moon were launched. Near the launch pad, visitors will exit the tour bus for photo opportunities.
The tour then drives by for views of Launch Pad 39-B, site of launches for the Saturn 1B/Skylab missions and of many space shuttle launches.
The Launch Pad Tour will run through the end of 2012 with a limited number of daily tours. NASA and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex previously opened two other behind-the-scenes tours scheduled to run through year's end.
One tour, launched in June, takes visitors inside NASA's Launch Control Center (LCC), where directors and engineers supervised all space shuttle and Apollo missions and will oversee future space missions.
The other tour, which began in November, takes visitors inside the 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), the massive building in which the Apollo Saturn V rockets and space shuttles were assembled.