Gateway The Deep Space Launch Complex

Gateway The Deep Space Launch Complex is a stunning attraction that investigates the future of space exploration.

As you enter the building, you will be surrounded by large machinery and equipment, highlighted by blue and purple lights.

Visitors can witness today’s spacecraft and the visionary designs for deep human space travel.

Everything is amazing, from the Falcon 9 rocket booster to the Sierra Space Dream Chaser spacecraft scale model and the Orion capsule.

There are also numerous interactive exhibits and activities, most notably the Boeing Starliner cockpit simulator, which allows visitors to experience life as a pilot.

You can also learn about NASA and its commercial partners, like SpaceX, and their vision for space programs and launches.

After the visit, you can also see the futuristic Spaceport KSC launch aboard one of four unique journeys through the solar system and beyond.

KSC’s chief operating officer, Therrin Protze, said: “Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex is a bold new attraction where guests will personally experience NASA’s next giant leap and beyond, highlighting all the excitement within the space industry.”

Where is Gateway Located?

Gateway, the deep space launch complex, is in a new 50,000-square-foot building on the northeast side of the Rocket Garden inside the KSC Visitor Complex.

Exhibits Inside Gateway Kennedy Space Center

The Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex at Kennedy Space Center has exhibits showcasing NASA’s current and upcoming space exploration endeavors.

Here are some of the exhibits you can find inside:

Orion EFT-1 Capsule

EFT-1 (previously known as Orion Flight Test 1 or OFT-1) was the first test flight of the crew module portion of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.

Along with the SLS rocket, NASA’s Artemis missions will soon rely on the Orion spacecraft to return humans to the Moon.

You can learn about Orion’s features through interactive screens and compare them to previous Apollo capsules.

SpaceX Cargo Dragon COTS-2

In 2012, this Dragon spacecraft was the first commercial spacecraft to deliver and return cargo from the International Space Station.

The COTS program aims to develop and demonstrate commercial sources for resupplying the International Space Station (ISS).

Visitors can learn about the dragon’s design, features, and reusability as it evolved.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster

A Falcon 9 first-stage booster is a reusable rocket booster used on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy orbital launch vehicles.

This booster flew twice, the first time as a side booster for a Falcon Heavy test flight in 2018.

Sierra Space Dream Chaser

Dream Chaser will carry out cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station on behalf of NASA.

It is a reusable space plane that can land on existing commercial runways, providing NASA and private industry with a space vehicle.

A full-size replica is suspended from the ceiling as if flying through space inside the Gateway at KSC.

Boeing CST-100 Starliner Mockup Capsule and Spacesuit

The Boeing Starliner is a partially reusable spacecraft designed to transport astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and other low-Earth orbit destinations.

This mock-up was built to test how the Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner crew module has been used for hours of training.

The CST-100 Starliner can carry four to five astronauts and cargo and is designed for a ground landing rather than a water landing.

Visitors can learn more about the Starliner using interactive touch screens that display all the information.

Following that, you can also view the replica space suit that Adam Savage constructed while working under the guidance of Boeing and their spacesuit designer.

It has real components that resemble those that Starliner astronauts wear. See the helmet and suit, and even “try on” the gloves.

Aerojet Rocketdyne RL-10 Engine

Are you prepared to work as a rocket test engineer?

Experiment with four different mission scenarios: fueling and igniting the engine by mixing liquid hydrogen and oxygen, and certifying the engine for flight if successful. 

Robotic Space Explorers Interactive Wall

At this exhibit, interact with 40 notable space missions consisting of satellites, telescopes, probes, and rovers.

Visitors can explore the details of these missions or move beyond the interactive displays, letting their silhouette discover spacecraft voyaging through the planets.

Find the hidden surprises on the wall by triggering the targets.

James Webb Space Telescope

Using the kiosk and 3D models, you can explore the James Webb Space Telescope, which was launched in December 2021.

You can see its trajectory from Earth to its orbit point, a 3D model of it fully deployed, and how its imagery differs from that of Hubble.

Deep Space Habitat

You can enter this full-scale mockup of what a lunar habitat could look like. 

The habitat demonstrates the importance of utilizing all available space—both on the “floor” and the “ceiling”—to maximize functionality. 

Spaceport KSC

After seeing the main gallery, head up to the second level, where the futuristic Spaceport KSC awaits you.

This extraordinary feature of the Gateway complex provides four different simulated space journeys for future space travel.

Visitors can pick one of these journeys and enjoy the experience:

Red Planet

You can travel to our nearest planetary neighbor, Mars, and enjoy its rugged beauty. 

Look back at the planet’s ancient oceans with the Perseverance rover and escape from one of the planet’s infamous dust storms.

Cosmic Wonders

Take a journey into deep space to see interstellar sights like the inky Horsehead Nebula dust cloud, the glowing tendrils of the Crab Nebula, and a special visit to a massive star.

Daring Explorers

Travel to Saturn and Jupiter for up-close views of the gas giants and their moons, Titan and Europa.

Uncharted Worlds

Travel 40 lightyears to the Trappist-1 system, a collection of seven worlds orbiting a red dwarf star, including a hot steam planet and an ice-covered world.

Other Attractions Inside NASA Now+ Next

 Deep Space Launch Complex

Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex

It is a recent addition to the complex, which features authentic spacecraft and prototypes from NASA and commercial partners.

Through immersive atmospheric effects and a motion theater experience, visitors see, hear, and feel what it’s like to travel in space.

You can look at today’s spacecraft and the visionary designs setting the way for human deep space travel.

Spaceport KSC

Spaceport KSC

At the Spaceport, visitors are transported to a futuristic airport with information about where spaceships are going.

Visitors board on “spaceships” in the form of a two-story motion theater and go on one of the four journeys offered.

The four journeys offered are named Cosmic Wonders, Red Planet, Daring Explorers, and Uncharted Worlds.

Journey to Mars

Journey to Mars

Ever wondered what it would be like to travel to Mars? You can experience it at the Journey to Mars exhibit at KSC.

This new exhibit can give you a sense of that reality by having you live in a tiny capsule and experience the hazards of space.

The multimedia exhibit also highlights what’s happening at NASA right now to explore deep space, including Mars.

Planet Play

Planet Play

Planet Play is an indoor interactive area where children can play on the planets.

It is a multiple-story play experience designed for a younger generation of space explorers aged 2 to 12.

They can recreate a memorable learning experience by playing interactive games like mapping constellations, walking on Saturn’s rings, or sliding through an asteroid field.

Parents can relax and enjoy coffee, wine, or beer in a comfortable lounge while their little explorers learn about space.

Mars Rover Vehicle Navigator

Mars Rover Vehicle Navigator

The MRVN, or Mars Rover Vehicle Navigator, is the latest concept vehicle designed to navigate the demanding landscape of Mars.

NASA designed this vehicle to navigate Mars’ challenging terrain.

NASA Now+Next offers a close view of MRVN with massive wheels to travel over dunes and rocks.

The Mars Rover looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie.

IMAX Theater

IMAX Theater

Visitors can enjoy space movies at the IMAX Theater inside KSC, which are included with the admission ticket.

Theater features space-themed films like “Journey to Space” and “Asteroid Hunters,” offering a cinematic experience in space. 

Mission Status Briefing

NASA is preparing for the next generation of American spacecraft, which will launch astronauts from Florida’s Space Coast to the International Space Station.

During Mission Status Briefing, visitors learn about current NASA missions, Kennedy Space Center operations, and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station launch activity. 

Also, learn about NASA’s commercial partners, including SpaceX, the United Launch Alliance (ULA), and the International Space Station (ISS).

During a multimedia presentation, you can also see the futuristic space exploration approach with the Space Launch System.


1. What is the new attraction at KSC?

Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex is the new attraction inside the KSC Visitor Complex. It is located on the northeast side of Rocket Garden.

Visitors can see NASA’s current spacecraft and the visionary models there.

2. Is the gateway open at Kennedy Space Center?

The Gateway exhibit at the KSC Visitor Complex is open daily from 9 am Monday to Sunday.

The closing hours of the space center vary depending on the seasons and the peak demand of visitors. Learn more.

3. What is the Gateway exhibit at Kennedy Space Center?

Kennedy Space Center Gateway Exhibit showcases NASA’s current spacecraft, like the Falcon 9 rocket booster, the Sierra Space Dream Chaser, and the Orion Capsule.

This 50,000-square-foot building provides visitors with insights into NASA’s Artemis missions and the future of space exploration.

4. What is the NASA Gateway program?

The NASA Gateway Program is an international effort to create humanity’s first space station around the Moon as part of the Artemis missions.

Based in Houston, Texas, the program aims to build a small space station in lunar orbit with global and commercial partnerships.

This space station, called Gateway, will be a crucial hub supporting NASA’s Artemis campaign, facilitating sustained exploration and research in deep space.

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