Guests Invited to View Atlas V Rocket Launch, See Bill Nye "The Science Guy," Participate in Live Juno Scientist Webcast and Enjoy Second Day Free
Kennedy Space Center, FL (August 1, 2011) – While space shuttles have had their last lift-off, locals and visitors to the Space Coast can still experience the thrill of a launch. On Friday, Aug. 5, between 11:34 a.m. and 12:43 p.m., NASA is scheduled to launch the Jupiter-bound, solar-powered Juno spacecraft aboard the most powerful Atlas rocket ever made, the Atlas V 551, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The first 2,000 guests to arrive at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC) will be invited to view the launch from the closest possible public viewing area, the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
Additional launch viewing opportunities will be available at the Visitor Complex's Shuttle Plaza. All launch viewing opportunities and additional activities are included in regular KSCVC admission, and each guest ticket is valid for a second day of admission at no additional charge, to be used within seven days of the first use Aug. 4 or 5. Admission tickets may be purchased online in advance; however, only the first 2,000 guests to physically enter Visitor Complex gates will be admitted to the Apollo/Saturn V Center for launch viewing. KSCVC will open at 7 a.m. on Friday, August 5 to welcome guests interested in viewing this historic launch.
In celebration of the Juno mission, KSCVC will present a variety of launch-related activities:
·On Wednesday, Aug. 3 and Thursday, Aug. 4, from noon to 5 p.m., guests may take part in the Scientists in Action Webcast and pose questions to Juno mission scientists. The live webcast will be shown simultaneously at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Virginia Air and Space Center.
·On Wednesday, Aug. 3 and Thursday, Aug. 4, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday, Aug. 5 from 2 to 7 p.m., children of all ages are invited to the LEGO® Build the Future play area. Guests will be admitted to the play area for 45 minutes to build their vision of the future out of LEGO bricks. For a glimpse at LEGO activities, visit www.legospace.com.
·On Thursday, Aug. 4, Bill Nye of the Emmy award-winning TV show, "Bill Nye The Science Guy®" will speak to guests at the IMAX® Theater at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to prepare them for the launch of the Juno spacecraft aboard the massive Atlas V rocket. Seating for Nye's presentations is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so early arrival at the IMAX Theater is recommended.
Bill Nye is the Executive Director of The Planetary Society, the world's largest space interest group, as well as a scientist, former Boeing engineer, stand-up comedian, author, inventor and man on a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society. He is the host of three currently running TV shows including "The 100 Greatest Discoveries" on the Science Channel, "The Eyes of Nye" on PBS and "Stuff Happens" on Planet Green.
The Juno spacecraft will travel 445 million miles to Jupiter to study the formation and evolution of the solar system's largest planet by observing its gravity, magnetic fields, and atmospheric dynamics and composition. The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive in Jupiter's atmosphere in July 2016 and orbit the planet 33 times, skimming close to the planet's cloud tops for approximately one year. Juno is the ninth NASA mission to study Jupiter, beginning with Pioneer 10 in 1972. Despite previous successful missions, including 1995's Galileo, there remain major unanswered questions about the origins of the giant planet hidden beneath the clouds and massive storms of its upper atmosphere. Juno is the second spacecraft designed under NASA's New Frontiers Program. The first was the Pluto New Horizons mission, launched in January 2006 and scheduled to reach Pluto's moon Charon in 2015.
For more information about Juno launch viewing opportunities or activities, or to purchase admission tickets, call 866-737-5235 or visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com. Please note, rocket launch schedule is subject to change without notice.
Now through September 5, take advantage of a summer full of special events during Sci-Fi Summer: Where Science Fiction Meets Science Fact at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. See STAR TREK®: THE EXHIBITION, STAR TREKTM LIVE, Star Trek Shuttlecraft Simulator Adventure and exciting exhibits. Win a trip to space in the Launch of a Lifetime Sweepstakes, featuring more than $300,000 in prizes. For details, visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com.