Ignite Your Senses
Witnessing a live rocket launch is a jaw-dropping, bucket-list experience. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex provides the closest public viewing of rocket launches with live launch commentary from space experts. Viewing locations are within a few miles/kilometers from the launch pads, so you can see and feel the liftoff of spacecraft leaving Earth under the full power of mighty rocket engines.
LC-39 Observation Gantry
Available in addition to daily admission, the LC-39 Observation Gantry is the closest viewing area to the launch pads on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Witness liftoff of the rocket from the launch pad. Shaded viewing from the gantry and outdoor bleacher seating make this the premium launch viewing area.
Distances to Launch Pads:
- To Atlas V SLC-41 - approximately 2.3 miles/3.7 kilometers
- To Falcon 9 SLC-40 - approximately 3.4 miles/5.5 kilometers
- To Delta IV SLC-37 - approximately 5.5 miles/8.9 kilometers
- No viewing for SpaceX LC-39A or NASA LC-39B due to safety restrictions
Amenities and Inclusions:
- Bleacher seating, an open lawn area and limited viewing room on the LC-39 Observation Gantry (available first come, first served)
- A complimentary souvenir, snacks and refreshments are included with a Launch Transportation Ticket
Banana Creek Launch Viewing Area
at the Apollo/Saturn V Center
Available in addition to daily admission, this prime viewing location, adjacent to the Apollo/Saturn V Center, offers outdoor bleacher seating with views of launch pads across Banana Creek. If open during the launch window, the Apollo/Saturn V Center includes Apollo Program exhibits and offers a close-up look at the world’s largest rocket, the Saturn V.
Distance to Launch Pads:
- To Atlas V SLC-41 - approximately 5.4 miles/8.7 kilometers
- To Falcon 9 SLC-40 - approximately 6.2 miles/10 kilometers
- To Delta IV SLC-37 - approximately 8 miles/12.8 kilometers
- To SpaceX LC-39A - approximately 3.9 miles/6.27 kilometers
Amenities and Inclusions:
- Bleacher seating and open lawn area (available first come, first serve)
- Access to the Apollo/Saturn V Center (including dining and shopping) when open. The Apollo/Saturn V Center may be closed for private events or due to other operational requirements
Main Visitor Complex
Included with daily admission, this viewing area with live launch commentary is located next to Space Shuttle Atlantis® in the North Atlantis Lawn. Visitors view the rocket once it clears the tree line.
Distances to launch pads:
- To Atlas V SLC-41 - approximately 7.1 miles/11.4 kilometers
- To Falcon 9 SLC-40 - approximately 6.7 miles/10.8 kilometers
- To Delta IV SLC-37 - approximately 7 miles/11.3 kilometers
- To SpaceX LC-39A - approximately 7.5 miles/ 12 kilometers
Amenities and Inclusions:
- Launch commentary with bleacher and lawn seating with minimal viewing obstructions.
- Junior Astronaut Activity Tent, when available
- Access to main visitor complex attractions, shows, dining and retail if during operational hours
The visitor complex offers Launch Transportation Tickets (LTTs) whenever possible for rocket launches. LTTs for these launches are typically available in addition to daily admission and may be purchased ahead of time or day-of if the viewing locations are not sold out.
LTT Information for Each Location:
Note: Each location may not be offered for every launch. Availability is dependent on the launch pad in use, visitor complex operations, Air Force Range Safety and NASA approval.
- LC-39 Observation Gantry
- Launch transportation to this location requires the purchase of a ticket in addition to daily admission.
- Guests board a Kennedy Space Center bus from inside the main visitor complex and travel behind NASA’s gates to this viewing location not otherwise open to the public.
- Banana Creek Launch Viewing Area at the Apollo/Saturn V Center
- Launch transportation to this location may require the purchase of a ticket in addition to daily admission if the launch window is outside of normal visitor complex operating hours. If the launch is within normal operating hours, this location may be included first come, first served.
- Guests board a Kennedy Space Center bus from inside the main visitor complex and travel behind NASA’s gates to this viewing location. In most cases, the Apollo/Saturn V Center will be open to explore.
Main Visitor Complex Viewing Information:
Note: This location may not be offered for every launch. Availability is dependent on the launch pad in use, visitor complex operations, Air Force Range Safety and NASA approval.
- Only the purchase of daily admission is needed to view a rocket launch from the main visitor complex. No additional ticket is required. The North Atlantis Lawn viewing area includes bleacher seating and launch commentary.
- Viewing from the main visitor complex does not require bus transportation.
Launch date, time and viewing opportunities are subject to change. Launches can be affected by technical and mechanical issues as well as range operations and weather, either in advance or at the last minute. Follow us on Twitter for up-to-date information on launches. Your Launch Transportation Ticket (LTT) provides transportation to premium launch viewing at the LC-39 Observation Gantry or Apollo/Saturn V Center viewing sites. This ticket will be collected from you when you board the bus to your particular launch viewing site.
If the launch is postponed, two scenarios are possible:
- If you are holding a LTT and the launch is postponed before you board a bus, your LTT will be valid for the next attempt to view the launch from your launch viewing site, either the LC-39 Observation Gantry, Apollo/Saturn V Center or NASA Causeway; or you may use the value of the Launch Transportation Ticket for merchandise in the Space Shop.
- If the launch is postponed after you have boarded a bus to either the LC-39 Observation Gantry, Apollo/Saturn V Center or NASA Causeway, all elements of the LTT are considered used in full. You will receive a 20 percent off coupon for use at one of our on-site retail shops. You will also receive a voucher to be exchanged for a Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex daily admission ticket valid for the date of the next launch attempt. You can use this daily admission ticket to view the launch from the main visitor complex viewing area.
Daily admission, multiday passes and annual passes are valid only for entry to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Daily admission, multiday passes and annual passes do not include LTTs to premium launch viewing at the LC-39 Observation Gantry or Apollo/Saturn V Center viewing sites.
The visitor complex may offer launch viewing packages instead of Launch Transportation Tickets for milestone launches such as the Commercial Crew Program. Launch viewing packages bundle admission, launch viewing locations and other commemorative keepsakes specific to each launch. The packages are sold ahead of time as early as possible and are required for visitor complex admission the day of the launch. It is possible that other forms of daily admission, including the use of an annual pass, cannot be redeemed on the launch day when packages are offered.
As launch viewing packages are specific to each mission, location and inclusion details will be made available as launches are confirmed. Check back for future viewing opportunities.
Rocket launch viewing is an exhilarating experience! Learn insider tips on how to watch a rocket launch in addition to a day of exploring Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex attractions and exhibits. Once launch details are official, you will find ticket information for each launch on our Events Calendar. There you will see information on viewing opportunities specific to each launch.
Top 5 Launch Preparation Tips:
- Plan to arrive early. We open at 9:00 AM unless otherwise noted for an early morning launch. Expect high attendance and increased traffic leading up to the visitor complex and throughout the Space Coast.
- Anticipate longer lines for attractions, restaurants, tours, restrooms and shows on a launch day. Save time at the main entrance by buying your launch viewing ticket and admission online and presenting the barcode on your phone.
- Be prepared for outdoor viewing in direct sunlight and sharing the viewing areas with insects.
- Keep up to date on our website, or through Facebook and Twitter. Launch details often change. We will never publish any information that is not confirmed by NASA or the commercial space company launching the mission.
- Be familiar with our Scrub Policies for Launch Transportation Tickets or special launch viewing packages for milestone launches.
Items to Bring:
- Sun protection: screen, hats, umbrellas and sunglasses
- Insect repellent
- Soft-sided coolers or lunch boxes
- Water in plastic bottles (no glass will be permitted)
- Cameras, tripods and binoculars
- Blankets or umbrella-style folding camp chairs carried in shoulder bags
Learn more about when tickets are sold, when to arrive, and what to expect if a launch delays or scrubs on The Payload blog for our Launch FAQ series: