Space Shuttle Launch: 7 Locations In The U.S. To Visit For A Space Fix
Friday's space shuttle launch of Endeavor at the Kennedy Center has been delayed until at least Monday. Need to bide time and enjoy space history, or future? Check out these 7 location around the country every space nut should visit.
Evergreen Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour: The only publicly-opened commercial jet assembly plant has its home 25 miles north of Seattle at the home of Boeing. The 8,000 square-foot facility boasts tours of the new 787 Dreamliner (which had its first flight in March), flight simulators and historical learning zones. Be sure to catch the 90-minute tour of the Boeing plant where actual airplanes are assembled.
1420 South Trenton Street, Seattle, WA; 425-438-8100
Admission: Adult $18 (reserved; $20 walk up); Child $12 (reserved; $14 walk up)
San Diego Air and Space Museum: This Balboa Park museum has lots to offer adoring fans of space, including a 3D/4D theater, a centennial naval aviation exhibit, and the Montgolfier brother's 1783 hot air balloon – the first of its kind – not to mention a replica of Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis (the original is at the Smithsonian) and a full jet age gallery.
2001 Pan American Plz, San Diego, CA; 619-234-8291
Admission: Adult: $16.50 Child: $6
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: Located along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., this museum houses the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. Among its exhibits are the Apollo 11 command module "Columbia" piloted by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the Apollo lunar module and the Mercury "Friendship 7" in which John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. Even more artifacts are on display at the companion museum, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
National Mall Building: Independence Ave at 6th Street, SW; 202-633-2214
Udvar-Hazy Center: 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA; 703-572-4118
Admission: Free (Parking at Udvar-Hazy is $15.)
Kennedy Space Center: Access may be restricted to the space center during space shuttle launches, but it's open to space enthusiasts daily. Inside the center, located northwest of Cape Canaveral, Fla., guests can take a two-hour bus tour and/or explore exhibits at their leisure. To get the real astronaut experience, hop into the space Shuttle Launch Experience – a looming structure that replicates actual Space Shuttle facilities and a shuttle ride itself.
SR 405 Kennedy Space Center, FL; 866-737-5235
Admission: Adult: $43 Child: $33
Virgin Galactic Spaceport: If tycoon and travel mogul Richard Branson has his way, Virgin aircraft won't just take us around the world – they will take us into space. Although its still in the construction stages, the New Mexico Spaceport will be the home of Virgin Galactic and a launching point for its spacecraft. The company is already taking reservations from aspiring astronauts for spaceflights. But, at $200,000, this experience does not come cheap.
Pima Air and Space Museum: An 80-acre Tuscon museum, the Pima Air & Space Museum is the largest non-government funded museum in the United States. On display is a collection of some 300 air- and space-crafts from around the world, and some 125,000 artifacts. JFK's Air Force One is on view, as well as presidential aircrafts used by Nixon and Johnson.
6000 East Valencia Road, Tucson, AZ; 520.574.0462
Admission: Adults: $15.50 Child: $9 (children under 6 get in free)
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum: Docked on Manhattan's West Side, the Intrepid museum has year-round exhibits and tours, including that of the retired British Airways Concorde, not to mention super-cool simulators.
Pier 86, West 46th street and 12th Avenue, New York, NY 877-957-7447
Admission: Adult: $24 Child: $19
Did we miss your favorite place for a space fix? Depressed over the space shuttle launch delay? Let us know in the comments below.
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