Press Release

Astronaut and Shuttle Launch Director Reunite to Celebrate 20th Anniversary Of Space Shuttle at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

By SpaceRef Editor
April 12, 2001
Filed under ,

Kennedy Space Center
Visitor Complex celebrated the 20th anniversary of space shuttle flight today
with a variety of special events.

For the first time ever, a former launch director joined an astronaut on
stage for Astronaut Encounter-a live, question-and-answer program aimed at
inspiring kids to achieve academic excellence. Former Launch Director Bob
Sieck and shuttle Commander Rick Searfoss (STS-58, STS-76, STS-90) answered
questions, shook hands, and signed autographs for Visitor Complex guests.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is the only place in the world where
guests may come face-to-face with an experienced astronaut 364 days a year.

“Touring Kennedy Space Center and watching a space shuttle launch is the
next best thing to working in Mission Control,” said Sieck. “Nowhere else does
the past, present and future of the space program come more clearly to life
than right here at the birthplace of spaceflight.”

Throughout April, guests at the KSC Visitor Complex may relive the launch
of STS-1 by watching “Hail Columbia,” a classic IMAX® film depicting the
crowning achievements of the shuttle’s maiden voyage, from launch to landing.
Guests may also enjoy a special 20th anniversary exhibit featuring informative
displays and interactive kiosks such as “Dock the Shuttle.” An authentic,
space-flown mission specialist space shuttle seat and cockpit display help
guests experience space flight “first-hand.”

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers its Launch Transportation
Tickets via Web site, http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com or by phone at
(321) 449-4444. Guests purchasing a launch package watch the launch from a
restricted area within Kennedy Space Center, just six miles from the launch
pads.

STS-1/Columbia launched from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on
April 12, 1981. Mission Commander John Young and Pilot Bob Crippen orbited the
Earth thirty-six times before landing in a dry lakebed at Edwards Air Force
Base, California. On Saturday, April 6, STS-1 Pilot Bob Crippen was the host
astronaut for the program.

April 12 also marks the 40th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight,
conducted by Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open from 9 a.m. to approximately
dusk every day except December 25 and certain launch days. Admission is
$25 for adults and $15 for children ages 3-11, and includes access to all
exhibits, IMAX® space films and the KSC Tour. Launch Transportation Tickets
are $35.50 for adults and $22.50 for children ages 3-11, plus tax, shipping
and handling, and includes bus transportation to the viewing site and
admission to the Visitor Complex. The Visitor Complex is located 45 minutes
east of Orlando, Fla. For more information, call 321/449-4444 or visit
http://www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

SpaceRef staff editor.