Explore Kennedy Space Center as part of a small group with your astronaut guide. Discover the birthplace of America’s space program with an experienced space explorer by your side as you tour Space Shuttle Atlantis® and blast off on Shuttle Launch Experience®, along with touring the iconic sites of Kennedy Space Center by motor coach. Savor a catered lunch at the LC-39 Observation Gantry in the heart of historic Launch Complex 39, where the Apollo astronauts launched to the moon!
Note: Astronaut(s), times, dates and tour/dining locations are subject to change.
Jack Robert Lousma is an accomplished NASA astronaut and retired Colonel in the United States Marine Corps. As a marine, Lousma was an attack and reconnaissance pilot before being selected as an astronaut in 1966. He was one of 19 astronauts chosen by NASA that year. He has logged more than 7,000 hours of flight time, and 1,619 hours in space. Lousma completed B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautical Engineering by 1965 and was awarded with three honorary doctorate degrees in 1973, 1982 and 1986. During his time with NASA, Lousma was awarded 4 NASA Distinguished Service Medals from NASA (twice), Department of Defense and U.S. Navy. He was also inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame October 4, 1997.
Prior to flying a NASA mission, Lousma served on the support crews for Apollo 9, 10 and 13. It was Jack Lousma who was serving as capsule communicator (CAPCOM) when Jim Lovell radioed in his fateful message from Apollo 13, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”
On July 28, 1973, the Skylab 3 mission launched with Lousma as its pilot. The crew spent 59 days in orbit, exceeding expectations for their mission goals. They conducted 333 medical experiments, gaining more knowledge about the effects of weightlessness on the human body as well as other experiments in studies of the sun, earth resources, materials processing, and other technology evaluations. Lousma also performed two spacewalks outside Skylab totaling 11 hours.
Lousma was commander on STS-3 Columbia which launched March 22, 1982. This was the third orbital test flight of Columbia. While in orbit, they used the remote manipulator system (RMS) for the first time to maneuver a payload in space. In 1983, Lousma retired from NASA. He was a consultant to civilian and defense aerospace companies in the U.S. and Europe. He served on the boards of public and private organizations and was President of several startup companies developing high tech products and services. He and his wife have four children and eighteen grandchildren and are active in church and community affairs.