Kennedy Space Center to Celebrate 50 Years in Orbit

This year marks two major milestones for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex with the 50th anniversaries of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center and Americans in Orbit.

On February 20, 1962, John Glen, the first American to orbit the earth, was launched from Cape Canaveral, FL aboard the Freedom 7 capsule. Glenn circled the Earth three times, followed by a successful splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

Three months later on May 24, 1962, Scott Carpenter replicated John Glenn’s flight, orbiting the earth three times aboard the Aurora 7 capsule. Thus confirming the capabilities of America’s space program and leading to the official acknowledgement of Launch Operations Center or what is now known as John F. Kennedy Space Center as an operating spaceflight center on July 1, 1962.

Fifty years later, Kennedy Space Center is still the gateway to space. From carrying astronauts into space aboard rockets and space shuttles, launching space exploration devices and building the vision and the future of human spaceflight.

To mark this historic achievements, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complexis hosting a public celebration on Saturday, Feb. 18 that will be headlined by Mercury astronauts John Glenn and Scott Carpenter, the first two Americans to orbit Earth!

“Celebrating 50 Years of Americans in Orbit,” will be a full day of activities from a United Launch Alliance (ULA) presentation discussing the Atlas rocket used to launch astronauts into space during the Mercury program, Space-themed artwork created by area students, NASA exhibitions on the future of human spaceflight and the “On the Shoulders of Giants” program, which will begin at 6:30 pm and feature the celebration’s special guests Senator John Glenn and Scott Carpenter.  

Guests who spend the day at KSCVC with admission or an annual pass can enjoy each of the celebration events, including the 6:30 p.m. program. A $15 program-only ticket will be available for those who did not purchase admission or an annual pass during the day and will be valid from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on February 18, 2012. Tickets must be purchased from the Ticket Plaza on the day-of the event. No pre-sales will occur. 

The “Celebrating 50 Years of Americans in Orbit” event is being sponsored by United Launch Alliance.

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