When is the Next Rocket Launch at Kennedy Space Center?

Kennedy Space Center is the most popular launch center for NASA. It has a history of popular launches, including the Apollo missions.

If you plan to visit the KSC Visitor Complex, you must consider visiting during a rocket launch.

It’s an incredible experience to watch a rocket launch from the closest public viewing area, which is only a few miles/kilometers away.

The rocket engines ignite, signaling the start of the countdown to liftoff.

The rocket rises overhead seconds later, and the rumble of the engines becomes a roar that shakes the landscape.

Are there Separate Tickets for Rocket Launch?

The KSC visitor complex offers three types of rocket launch viewing opportunities:

  • Some Rocket launch views are included with the KSC admission tickets
  • Launch transportation tickets (LTTs) are sold in addition to the admission ticket.
  • Rocket Launch Packages include admission and special events, like rocket launch from the closest viewpoint.

The visitor complex determines whether launch viewing is offered through the entry, a Launch Transportation Ticket, or a launch viewing package.

The decision is based on the launch window, the scale of the rocket, and the anticipated public interest.

Uncrewed rocket launches, like communications satellites or ISS resupply missions, may be viewed at the visitor complex as part of entry and/or with an LTT.

LTTs are available in addition to admission and can be purchased in advance or on the day of the event if the viewing areas are not sold out.

The tourist facility offers launch viewing packages for crewed or milestone launches (such as Artemis missions).

These packages include access to the visitor complex, expert launch commentary, a return visit in the event of a scrub, and other memorable benefits unique to each launch.

Other types of admission, such as annual pass admissions, cannot be redeemed on the launch day when packages are available.

Where Can You Buy Kennedy Space Center Rocket Launch Tickets?

Kennedy Space Center Rocket Launch Tickets
Image: Kennedyspacecenter.com

Certain launches may be viewed with just a KSC entry ticket. You may plan the visit according to the rocket launch and book the KSC admission tickets.

LTTs and launch viewing packages (if available) can be purchased online or by calling the reservation department.

Before purchasing, we recommend reviewing the events calendar on the official site for complete information.

Rocket Launch Viewing Location at KSC Visitor Complex

Rocket Launch Viewing Location
Image: Kennedyspacecenter.com

Launch viewing is available for rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center and the nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The availability of launch viewing is determined by the safety standards of the United States Space Force Eastern Test Range and the time of day the launch occurs.

The following viewpoints are offered at the KSC Visitor Complex:

  • LC-39 Observation Gantry
  • The Apollo/Saturn V Center lawn
  • Banana Creek Launch Viewing Area (next to the Apollo/Saturn V Center)
  • The main visitor complex, with bleachers set up in designated viewing areas

When is the Next Rocket Launch at Kennedy Space Center?

Next Rocket Launch at Kennedy Space Center
Image: Orlandosentinel.com

The following launches are scheduled at the Kennedy Space Center:

SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch (USSF-52)

Date: 7 December 2023
Rocket Type:
Falcon Heavy
Launch Provider: SpaceX

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch the USSF-52 mission for the United States Space Force.

ULA Atlas V Boeing Starliner Crewed Flight Test (CFT) 

Date: Yet to be updated
Location: Space Launch Complex 41

The Crew Flight Test will test Starliner’s and United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket’s capabilities to transport humans to and from the International Space Station safely.

After a successful test flight with humans, NASA will begin the final phase of certifying the Starliner spacecraft and systems for regular crew rotation flights to the space station.

How to Reach the Rocket Launch Area?

Visitors desiring to see the rocket launch should proceed to our front entrance and undergo security screening after arriving and parking at the tourist facility.

Those watching the launch from the main visitor complex will be taken to the viewing areas for the day.

Those with LTTs or specific launch viewing packages are bused from the main visitor complex to designated viewing sites through NASA’s gates.

You may not drive yourself since security procedures demand that all ticket holders be transported only by visitor complex buses to these guarded areas.

Can I See the Rocket Launch Area on Other Days?

Image: Kennedyspacecenter.com

Visitors to the KSC Visitor Complex can see the rocket launch area and other exclusive areas on days other than rocket launches.

The Explore bus tour is a great way to combine your Kennedy Center tickets with a bus tour and explore the center’s rocket launch sites.

During the bus tour, you’ll ride with a space expert who will also take you on a tour of America’s multi-user spaceport.

Historic Rocket Launches at Kennedy Space Center

Apollo Program (1967-1973): KSC hosted 13 Saturn V launches, including Apollo 11’s historic moon landing in 1969 and the final missions of the Apollo program.

Skylab (1973): The last Saturn V launch from KSC placed the Skylab space station into orbit in 1973, utilizing Pad 39A.

Space Shuttle Program (1981-2011): KSC became the primary launch site for the Space Shuttle program, starting with the first launch of Columbia on STS-1 in 1981.

Constellation Program (2009): Ares I-X, an uncrewed launch from Pad 39B, marked KSC’s return to uncrewed launches since the Skylab workshop in 1973.

NASA Artemis 1 moon rocket launch (2022): The Space Launch System (SLS) was launched from Complex 39B as part of the Artemis 1 mission, aiming to return humans to the Moon.

Space Station Processing (1990s-Present): KSC plays a crucial role in processing payloads for the International Space Station (ISS) and contributing to developing experiments for on-orbit research.


1. When is the next rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center?

The next rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center is scheduled for December 7, 2023, featuring a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket (USSF-52) mission for the United States Space Force.

2. Do they launch rockets at Kennedy Space Center?

Rockets are launched at Kennedy Space Center, a prominent space launch facility for various missions.

It includes rocket launches conducted by NASA and its partner companies like SpaceX and other space agencies.

3. Why is NASA called the Kennedy Space Center?

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is named after President John F. Kennedy to honor his significant contributions and vision for space exploration, notably expressed in his commitment to the Apollo Moon missions.

Both names are used interchangeably, as the Kennedy Space Center is the prominent location for important NASA missions and launches.

4. Who owns the Kennedy Space Center?

The Kennedy Space Center is owned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Featured Image: Kennedyspacecenter.com

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