For the first time, Kennedy Space Center visitors will have the option of touring Launch Pad 39-A, where most space-shuttle missions and the six Apollo missions to the moon began.
Beginning Friday, the Launch Pad Tour will be available after entry to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Brevard County. It's the third tour introduced this year, part of the KSC's 50th anniversary celebration.
On the new tour, guests will be transported from the visitor complex to inside the perimeter security fence to Launch Pad 39-A.
"Visitors will travel the same route as astronauts to the launch pad, so they can imagine being an astronaut," says Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Vistor Complex.
At 39-A, guests will get off the bus for photo ops of the 350-foot fixed structure and other aspects of the launch pad, including the flame trench, propellan storage containers and water tanks that service the noise-suppression system.
The tour then does a drive-by of Launch Pad 39-B, the starting point for Skylab missions and many space-shuttle missions. This area is being remodeled for NASA'snew Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket, which will carry astronauts in the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, and to accommodate commercial spacecraft.
The Launch Pad Tour and the tours that go to the Vehicle Assembly Building and to the Launch Control Center will continue through the end of the year. Each tour costs $25 ($19 for ages 3-11) in addition to admission to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
More info: www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times