KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is letting guests get closer than ever to the spacecraft that got humans to the moon as we mark 50 years since the first manned moon landing.
- The Apollo/Saturn V Center opens today
- COMPLETE COVERAGE: First on the Moon: 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11: Videos, historical press kits, resources
The visitor complex is opening the redesigned Apollo/Saturn V Center on Monday.
"The guests really want to come out and see what's been done. We have reimagined the entire center, it looks all new inside, so we are getting a lot of great buzz," said Therrin Protze, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex COO.
The Saturn V rocket on display is 363-feet long which is 60 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty, and one of only three remaining in the United States.
The visitor complex lowered the Lunar Module to give guests a better view of what it took to get astronauts down to the moon's surface.
Starting today, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (@ExploreSpaceKSC) is letting guests get closer to the spacecraft that got us to the moon than ever before. This week marks 50 years since the first moon landing. @MyNews13 pic.twitter.com/2IYw52JuZm— Jerry Hume (@JerryHume) July 15, 2019
They also repositioned the command and service module where guests can see just how the tight quarters were inside.
Even the gigantic Saturn V got an upgrade with new projection mapping on the side of the mega rocket.
"The equipment has been here, basically we've added a few new things, restored some things, and made it easier for people to view and see all the things that are here," said Mark Smith, a visitor complex communicator.
There are some new things as well, including photo spots that recreate a 1969 living room and bar to make it feel like guests were there to watch the moon landing unfold.
That pen the lets you write upside down also has its origins tied to the Apollo program. A new exhibit shows the development of the zero gravity pen by Paul Fisher, which was important.
Pencils have been used, however, they were phased out due to fears that if pieces of the graphite tip broke off, they could go into the electrical panels and cause a short and graphite dust conducts electricity.
Outside, there is a new moon tree garden. Twelve trees from seeds that orbited the moon during the Apollo days have been planned outside the center.
In the middle of the new garden is a new statue of the three crewmembers of Apollo 11 called
"The Eagle has Landed."
Guests visiting the Apollo-Saturn V Center also got the chance to meet former NASA astronaut Robert D. Cabana.
Cabana recalled walking through the Vehicle Assembly Building himself decades ago, and he says he's excited for the new Artemis mission generation of lunar exploration.
The redesigned Apollo/Saturn V Center is included with admission to the visitor complex; guests just have to take a tour bus from the main campus to get there.