KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (March 11, 2009) – See the spectacular evening launch of Space Shuttle Discovery targeted for no earlier than March 15, 2009, at 7:43 p.m. Eastern. A limited number of launch viewing tickets are available to view the launch of Discovery’s STS-119 mission from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the closest public viewing site to the launch pad. The flight will travel to the International Space Station to deliver a final set of large U.S. solar arrays, providing the orbital station with additional power to accommodate up to six crew members this spring.
STS-119 is the 28th U.S. mission to the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Discovery’s seven person crew will carry and attach the final starboard truss segment to the station, supplying the station with its fourth set of solar arrays needed to complete its power-generating solar panels. The additional power will enable a full crew of six, as opposed to three at a time, to live and perform experiments aboard the station.
Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata will launch with the crew, making history as the first resident station crew member from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The mission duration is set for 14 days, and the astronauts plan to conduct four spacewalks 220 miles above Earth.
As with all shuttle launches, special launch day activities will take place at the Visitor Complex. Guests will enjoy live NASA countdown audio and video presentations on a jumbo-sized screen, astronaut appearances and launch briefings. Before witnessing the live space shuttle launch, park visitors can experience the sights, sounds and sensations of their own shuttle launch on the Shuttle Launch Experience.
Admission tickets must be purchased in advance to receive a special car placard to allow entry to Kennedy Space Center after the gates close. Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone. Visitor Complex admission is $38+ tax for adults and $28+ tax for children ages 3-11 and includes viewing of the Space Shuttle Discovery launch from the Visitor Complex. Special buffets are available with visiting astronauts. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 321-449-4400 and visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com
About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. The Visitor Complex is open daily except December 25 and certain launch days. Admission includes the new Shuttle Launch Experience
, Kennedy Space Center Tour, 3D IMAX®
space films, Astronaut Encounter, all exhibits, and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®
, featuring historic spacecraft, simulator rides and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut mementos. Admission is $38 + tax for adults and $28 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 321-449-4444 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
Editor’s Note: Launch information updated on March 11, 2009.