Explore Original Rockets & Replicas at the Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden
One of the most popular attractions at the Kennedy Space Center, the Rocket Garden is a tribute to the engineers and scientists who worked tirelessly to give flight to America’s space programs for decades. The place is an outdoor display of real rockets that were developed but never flown in space. The Rocket Garden is a must-visit while you’re at the space center because you get to take a closer look and walk among the actual rockets of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs and experience the thrill of early space flight.
Read on to know more about the Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden, where it is located, the different rockets found inside, and their notable missions.
What is the Rocket Garden?
The Rocket Garden is home to the most incredible, historic, and real machines that pioneered America’s space exploration program. Most of these rockets have never flown in space but remain an inseparable part of the country’s space history. The place is a tribute to all the scientists and engineers who turned America’s dream of spaceflight into reality starting with the 1961 launch of Mercury-Redstone 3 that completed the first US human space flight.
Marvel at the artifacts on display and take a walk among the giant rockets of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs and learn about their most notable missions.
Rocket Garden Kennedy Space Center Highlights
The Delta II rocket was used to launch over 150 NASA missions including Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, Phoenix Mars lander, and several GPS missions for the United States Air Force.
Height: 39 meters
Thrust: 1,084,200 pounds
The Juno I rocket launched Explorer I, the US’ first satellite, into orbit on 31st January 1958, which eventually led to the establishment of the National Aeronautic Space Administration on 1st October later that year.
Height: 21.7 meters
Thrust: 83,000 pounds
Delta was used to facilitate communication technologies and launch a Mylar balloon called Echo into orbit in 1960. Echo helped the first live television signal to cross the ocean, writing a new chapter in global communication advancement.
Height: 27 meters
Thrust: 152,000 pounds
The first launch vehicle to take a crew, Mercury-Redstone, was used to carry Ham, the chimpanzee into space to test spacecraft life support systems in 1961. Later that year, Alan Shepherd launched on a Mercury-Redstone rocket making him the first American to go into space.
Height: 25.3 meters
Thrust: 78,000 pounds
Mercury-Atlas (full-scale replica)
On 20th February 1960, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth after being launched on a Mercury-Atlas rocket. He also proved that humans could work in a microgravity environment.
Height: 29 meters
Thrust: 360,000 pounds
Atlas-Agena launched 8 missions of the Ranger program collecting over 11,000 detailed pictures of the Moon including close-up images of where the Apollo 11 spacecraft would land on the lunar surface.
Height: 32.1 meters
Thrust: 366,213 pounds
An intercontinental ballistic missile designed to deliver nuclear weapons across the ocean, Gemini-Titan II was a reliable rocket used to launch Gemini missions in 1965 and 1966. However, it was never used for military actions.
Height: 32.9 meters
Thrust: 430,000 pounds
The Juno II rocket was sent toward the Moon to capture images including data on radiation and space objects. Its findings allowed NASA to develop more powerful rockets to carry out 33 uncrewed missions to the Moon.
Height: 23.4 meters
Thrust: 150,000 pounds
The Saturn 1B rocket launched Apollo 7, the first crewed mission of the Apollo program, and was also used to test early hardware for the missions that followed. Later, it was used to launch three missions to the Skylab space station and is now the only intact and flight-configured Saturn 1B in existence.
Height: 68 meters
Thrust: 1,600,000 pounds
Can I See the Rocket Garden at the Kennedy Space Center?
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Frequently Asked Questions About the Rocket Garden at the Kennedy Space Center
A. The Rocket Garden is an outdoor display of the most historic rockets that gave flight to America’s space programs.
A. The Rocket Garden is located inside the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral.
A. The Rocket Garden is home to the real rockets that launched NASA’s Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs into space.
A. Visit the Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden to get a close look at the rockets that helped America realize its spaceflight dream and pioneered its space exploration programs. Learn about the notable missions carried out and the history of early rocket science.
A. You can book tickets to visit the Rocket Garden online. Click here to book your tickets.
A. Tickets to the Kennedy Space Center start from $79.
A. NASA owns the rockets at the Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden.
A. There are 8 rockets inside the Rocket Garden at the Kennedy Space Center.
A. The Rocket Garden is home to 8 rockets from NASA’s Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs. It also contains replicas of the manned spacecraft launched by these rockets.
A. The Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden is important because it bears witness to the success of America’s historic spaceflight programs and missions.
A. Yes, the Rocket Garden is worth visiting because you get a first-hand experience of the thrill of early space flight. You get to see the real rockets that made it possible for the US to achieve its spaceflight dreams up close and also learn about the history of early rocket science.