Apollo/Saturn V Center: Race to the Moon at KSC Visitor Complex

Do you remember the era when countries vied fiercely to reach the moon?

Transport yourself back in time with a visit to the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

This attraction proudly showcases the iconic exhibits related to the Apollo missions, the most famous being the Saturn V rocket.

The Saturn V is the tallest, heaviest, and most powerful rocket ever built.

Apollo/Saturn V Center graphically depicts the progress of the Apollo programs, from the initial Mercury and Gemini missions to the iconic Apollo 11 moon landing.

Visitors can replicate the moonwalk, touch the Moon Rock and explore other artifacts and exhibits from the Apollo Missions.

The purpose of the attraction is to pay homage to astronauts and machines who prepared the way for humanity’s first moon trip.

About Race to the Moon 

  • Duration of Visit: 2-2.5 hours
  • Also called: Race to the Moon mission zone
  • Location: Behind the Vehicle Assembly Building
  • How to Reach: Only accessible via Kennedy Space Center shuttle buses
  • Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes
  • Best time to Visit: Early morning

How to Reach Apollo/Saturn V Center

The KSC Shuttle Bus departs from the Main Visitor Complex every fifteen minutes to the Apollo/Saturn V Center and returns.

The last bus departs 2.5 hours before KSC’s closing time.

Visitors are recommended to visit the center early in the morning after exploring the Heroes and Legends Building.

Entry to the center is included with the KSC Admission ticket.

Apollo/Saturn V Exhibits

Saturn V Rocket

Saturn V was the largest rocket to have ever flown through space. It is now displayed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center.

Its height of 363 feet is mounted vertically on a specially designed support structure.

Saturn V carried Apollo 11, with Neil Armstrong becoming the first human to land on the moon.

Exploring the moon

Exploring the Moon

This attraction inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center recreates the global excitement surrounding the Moon landings.
You can walk across the moon’s surface and watch your footsteps leave a trail. Also, touch an actual moon rock – a sample returned to Earth by Apollo 17.

The six Apollo landing sites are also the subject of interactive displays that provide information about missions, astronauts, and the fascinating artifacts they left behind.

And learn how later Apollo missions used the lunar rover to navigate unfamiliar terrain.

Apollo 8 and The Firing Room

Apollo 8 and The Firing Room

Apollo 8 was the first mission to orbit the moon, launched on 21 December 1968.

You can experience the thrill of the mission launch in the Firing Room through virtual reality.

It depicts the countdown and launch of Apollo 8 with the actual consoles used during the mission.

You can experience the mighty Saturn V Moon rocket lift from the launch pad and blast into space. 

Apollo Treasure Gallery

Apollo Treasure Gallery

The items found in this gallery are very precious and rare.
In this Smithsonian-affiliated exhibit, medals, prototypes, and training gear tell the story of astronauts on their way to the moon.

You can see the authentic artifacts from the Apollo Moon missions, including Alan Shepard’s Moon dust-covered spacesuit and the Apollo 14 crew capsule. 

Apollo Treasure Gallery

Path to the Moon 

Visitors can admire this collection of exhibits and artifacts and praise the accomplishments of Apollo missions 7-10.

Also, you will learn about the technology that kept all Apollo astronauts safe as they traveled an average of 239,000 miles/384,600 kilometers to the Moon.

Learn how astronauts transported the lunar rover to the moon and how the command and service modules docked.

Ad Astra Per Aspera

Ad Astra Per Aspera

The Apollo 1 Tribute, Ad Astra Per Aspera – A Rough Road Leads to the Stars, honors the lives of Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee.

This tribute shares mementos from the lives of the lost Apollo 1 astronauts and reminds us of their sacrifice.

Moon Tree Garden

Moon Tree Garden

After the visit, you can take a moment to relax and think about the incredible achievements of humans who reached the moon at the Moon Tree Garden. 

The trees here are special because they come from seeds taken from the moon long ago.

There are 12 trees, one for each Apollo mission with astronauts on board.



As the name suggests, Moonscape is a display resembling the moon’s surface.
It is one of the most intriguing new Apollo/Saturn V Center exhibits.

Moonscape depicts a scene from Apollo 11, when Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong planted the American flag on the lunar surface.
The most eye-catching artifact is Lunar Module 9 (LM-9), an authentic lunar module built for the Apollo Program.

You can get a close-up look at the vehicle that sheltered humans on the Moon and learn about the lunar module and the Apollo spacesuit and see how far a golf ball can travel with the moon’s lower gravitational pull.

You can also practice landing, launching, and docking the lunar module with the command service module.

Lunar Theater 

Lunar Theater

The entire world stopped to witness the Apollo 11 Moon landing mission.

Visitors can relive the final few minutes before the first words ever spoken from the Moon’s surface: “Houston, Tranquility Base is here. The Eagle has landed.”

The Lunar Theater recreates events from that historic day in July 1969 by combining 3D theatrical elements with actual NASA film footage and mission control recordings.

Apollo astronauts also share their memories of walking on the moon, a rare human experience.

While you wait for the next show to start, you can sit in the 1960s living room and bar scene and pretend you are back in 1969. 

The Race to the Moon

The Apollo/Saturn V Center is also called “Race to the Moon,” e1qazhn cas it graphically depicts the war among nations to reach the moon.

Let’s travel back in time to learn more about the race.

The space race was a part of the larger Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

The launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union in 1957 marked the beginning of the space race.

After this, President Kennedy committed to landing a person on the moon and bringing them back safely by the end of the 1960s.

This commitment set the stage for the Apollo program and also resulted in the building of the Kennedy Space Center.

On 20 July 1969, America achieved a significant victory in the Cold War with the successful mission of Apollo 11, which landed Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface.

This historic event fulfilled Kennedy’s promise and marked a symbolic end to the intense space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

This momentous achievement also showcased the United States as a leader in space exploration.

Learn more about the history of the Kennedy Space Center here!


1. How do I get to the Apollo Saturn V Center?

The center is located behind the Vehicle Assembly Building and is only accessible via Kennedy Space Center shuttle buses.

Visitors can take the shuttle bus, which departs every fifteen minutes from the Main Visitor Complex.

The last bus departs 2.5 hours before the closing time of Kennedy Space Center. 

2. Is the Saturn V at Kennedy Space Center real?

Yes, the Saturn V displayed at the Kennedy Space Center is real. The actual Saturn V rocket was used during the Apollo missions. 

3. When did the Apollo Saturn V Center open?

The Apollo/Saturn V Center opened on 21 May 1996 as a tribute to the Apollo program’s historic achievements and to showcase iconic exhibits such as the Saturn V Rocket. 

4. Who won the Race to the Moon?

America won the Race to the Moon by sending Neil Armstrong to the moon on 20 July 1969.

Later, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first man to walk on the Moon.

The victory of America in the space race was witnessed by 723 million people, with a  televised landing worldwide.

4. Who won the Race to the Moon? (FAQ)

America won the Race to the Moon by sending Neil Armstrong to the moon on 20 July 1969.

Later, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first man to walk on the Moon.

The victory of America in the space race was witnessed by 723 million people, with a  televised landing worldwide.

5. Where is the Race to the Moon located?

The Race to the Moon Mission Zone, also called the Apollo/Saturn V Center, is right behind the Vehicle Assembly Building inside the Kennedy Space Center.

It is only accessible by Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex shuttle buses.

 6. What are the famous attractions inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center?

The Saturn V Rocket is the most famous Race to the Moon attraction.

The Lunar Theater, Apollo 8, the Firing Room, and the Apollo Treasures Gallery are other famous attractions.

7. Is the Apollo/Saturn V Center accessible with the admission ticket?

Yes, a visit to the Apollo Saturn V Center is included with the KSC admission ticket.

 8. Can you touch a moon rock at Kennedy Space Center?

Yes, visitors can touch a moon rock. The Apollo/Saturn V Center houses a moon rock brought back by the Apollo missions.

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