Space Center celebrates ISS 15th anniversary with a reunion of the crew
In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the International Space Station (ISS), Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is hosting crew members of the first space shuttle mission to construct the ISS on Tuesday, Dec. 10. STS-88 crewmembers attending include Kennedy Space Center Director and mission commander Robert Cabana and mission specialists Jerry Ross and Nancy Currie.
On Dec. 10, 1998, the six-member crew aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour became the first people to enter the newly created International Space Station after transporting the American connecting node, Unity, and connecting it with the Russian module, Zarya.
The anniversary celebration at the Visitor Complex includes photo opportunities for the public with the astronauts at Space Shuttle Atlantis from 10 to 11 a.m. A panel discussion and Q & A with the astronaut crew takes place at 12:30 p.m. at the Astronaut Encounter Theater. Seating is provided on a first come, first serve basis. In addition, “Space Station 3D,” narrated by Tom Cruise, showcases the very beginning of the International Space Station in the IMAX Theater.
At 11:30 a.m. limited seating is offered for a special Lunch With An Astronaut for an additional charge, plus general admission with a special guest appearance by astronauts Jerry Ross and Nancy Currie, in addition to featured astronaut Jack Lousma, pilot of Skylab-3 and commander of STS-3.
The STS-88 crew traveled a total of 4.7 million miles during a 12-day mission to transport the 12.8 ton Unity connecting module and begin assembly of the ISS. Beyond connecting the two modules, the crew’s mission included powering on the station and installing hardware. Commander Bob Cabana and Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev were the first to enter Unity and open the hatch into Zarya, officially marking the dawn of a new era in global space partnership.
Considered one of the greatest technological, geopolitical and engineering achievements in history, the International Space Station is a collaborative effort between 15 nations. More than 69 countries have participated in research and educational activities on the orbiting laboratory that advances fundamental scientific knowledge, supports the exploration of space beyond low Earth orbit and provides a multitude of benefits to humans on Earth.
Photo opportunities and the panel discussion are included in admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3 – 11. Lunch With An Astronaut is an additional $29.99 + tax for adults and $15.99 + tax for children ages 3 – 11.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call 877-313-2610 and visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Angry Birds™ Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. The new $100 million home for Space Shuttle AtlantisSM opened June 29, 2013. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual passes starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.