Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20 with a special appearance by Bruce McCandless II. McCandless is a veteran astronaut who served as the Apollo 11 capsule communicator for the first lunar spacewalk. During this momentous event, he was responsible for communication between Mission Control and the three Apollo 11 astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
McCandless began his NASA career in 1966, serving in numerous capacities until his opportunity for spaceflight during the Space Shuttle Program. He flew two shuttle missions, but is best known for his first, STS-41B, when he made the first, untethered free flight spacewalk. The iconic picture of McCandless using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) was taken by crewmember Robert “Hoot” Gibson.
On July 20, guests can participate in a 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. meet-and-greet session with McCandless in Space Shuttle AtlantisSM. In addition, during a special Astronaut Encounter with McCandless beginning at 4 p.m. in the Astronaut Encounter Theater, guests will have the opportunity to relive the Apollo 11 moon landing and hear first-hand what it was like to communicate with the astronauts as they made that remarkable step in history. These events with McCandless are included with daily admission to the Visitor Complex. All Visitor Complex guests also will receive a special commemorative Apollo 11 pin recognizing one of humankind’s greatest achievements, landing on the moon.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is also offering an exclusive opportunity to annual passholders, who can join McCandless for a private tour through the Apollo/Saturn V Center as he recounts his experience communicating with the Apollo 11 astronauts during their extraordinary mission. This is a limited capacity tour designed exclusively for annual passholders and advanced reservations are required by calling 866-714-9795.
In addition to enjoying the Apollo 11 45th anniversary special events, Visitor Complex guests can relive the Apollo program at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Guests can explore and experience the tremendous accomplishments of the Apollo Program through dramatic multi-media shows and numerous hands-on displays that provide an inspirational and exhilarating look into America’s quest for the moon.
At the Apollo/Saturn V Center, guests experience the historic launch of Apollo 8 at the Firing Room Theater, where three screens ignite with original news clips from the early years of NASA and ends with footage from Apollo 8. The theater is an authentic representation of the 1960s Firing Room, containing the actual launch consoles NASA used during Apollo. Visitors then experience a re-creation of the Apollo 11 moon landing in the Lunar Theater.
The centerpiece of the Apollo/Saturn V Center is a monstrous 363-foot long, fully restored Saturn V moon rocket, the most powerful rocket ever built and one of only three Saturn V rockets in existence.
The Apollo Treasures Gallery, also located in the Apollo/Saturn V Center, showcases treasures from the Apollo moon missions, including Apollo 14 Commander Alan Shepard’s spacesuit and Command Module, Kitty Hawk. The Apollo Treasures Gallery also features an extensive and rare collection of developmental spacesuits and other gear used by Apollo moon walkers on the lunar surface.
Admission tickets may be purchased at www.KennedySpaceCenter.com or by calling 877-313-2610.