Kennedy Space Centre Launches Atlas V Rocket

SpaceX Falcon 9 (credit: Kennedy Space Center)

SpaceX Falcon 9 (credit: Kennedy Space Center)

Florida Travel News: Mini Space Plane Launching December 11, 2012

It’s unique to have an actual space center that is open to the public right in Florida. Today, at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, you’ll get a glimpse of the Atlas V rocket as it sends off a space plane prototype. There will be launch viewing areas set aside for guests and mission control will also have a live launch commentary. This is all included in the regular admission fees for the Visitor Complex.

An afternoon Launch

The launch will happen in the afternoon, within the hours of  1:03 and 6:03 p.m. EDT at Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Visitor Complex will extend hours depending on the when the launch occurs.

The United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket

The Atlas V rocket is going to be carrying the orbital test vehicle (OTV), X-37B as its secret cargo when it launches today. The X-37B space plane is a prototype of an unmanned space plane and was created and developed by The Boeing Company. The latest in advanced re-entry spacecraft, it measures at 29 feet in length and a unique feature is that it returns to Earth and lands like an airplane.

Mission OTV-3

This mission carries the moniker OTV-3 and had its first successful flight and landing at the Vandenberg Air Force Base on December 3, 2012. The first flight took 224 days in orbit.  The December 10th launch will be the second flight of this re-usable spacecraft.


  • Highlight: Unmanned space plane launch
  • When: December 11, 2012 between 1:03 and 6:03 p.m. EDT
  • Where:  SR 405, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899
  • Cost: $50 adults; $40/children ages 3-11.

Tell us…

Have you ever seen a rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center?