Florida Space Center’s Visitor Center Goes Green

The deep space launch attraction is the third facility to earn LEED Silver certification
Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex
The attraction features a two-story motion ride that shows off NASA’s history of exploration. KSC photo

Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex recently earned LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. A globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement, LEED certification provides a framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving green buildings and is backed by an industry of committed organizations and individuals paving the way for market transformation.

The 50,000-square-foot attraction, which opened in June 2022, immerses guests in the present and future of collaborative space exploration via a thrilling two-story motion theater ride and a showcase of priceless NASA and commercial space hardware and displays.

This is the third structure at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to earn LEED Silver Certification: the 90,000-square-foot Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction earned certification in 2014 and the 9,600-square-foot commissary warehouse in 2005. The visitor complex is operated for NASA by Delaware North Parks & Resorts at KSC.

“Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex is about educating our guests about what’s happening now in space exploration, and what’s next,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “Space exploration has spurred many environmental innovations that have found common uses here on Earth. It was important to us that in creating this attraction, we also create a building that has less of an impact on our environment.”

According to the USGBC, to achieve LEED certification, a project earns points by adhering to prerequisites and credits that address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health and indoor environmental quality.

Just 45 minutes from Orlando, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. The new, two-day ticket, which can be used for up to six months from purchase and averages a cost of less than $45 per day, is now available for $89 per adult and $79 per child. Single-day admission is $75 per adult, $65 per child.

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