Friday Space Bytes – March 22, 2019

Members of the National Space Council are seen during the council’s first meeting, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. The National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence heard testimony from representatives from civil space, commercial space, and national security space industry representatives. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

U.S. Space and Rocket Center announces closings due to National Space Council meeting

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is busy preparing for the 5th meeting of the National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. Due to preparations the center has announced that the Davidson Center for Space Exploration will be closed Monday, March 25th and admission will be reduced to $13 for the day. The outdoor exhibits and old main museum (currently hosting Apollo: When We Went To The Moon) will remain open. On Tuesday, March 26th, the entire facility will be closed to the public while the NSC meeting take place.

Revive the Saturn V restoration ahead of schedule and you can help

During a joint meeting of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission Business and Executive Committees, VP and CFO Louie Ramirez announced that the vertical Saturn V restoration efforts are ahead of schedule. The center also announced a special fundraising opportunity that will allow those who donate $1000, the once in the lifetime chance to help paint the Saturn V. The USSRC enlisted Huntsville native and YouTube sensation Destin Sandlin of Smarter Every Day to help spread the word. Donors will put their painting skills to the test on April 6th.

To donate or find out more information visit

Delaware North Announces New Courtyard Marriott on the former site of Space Camp Florida

Artist concept of the Courtyard Marriott on old Space Camp Florida location | Image: Delaware North

The contractor responsible for operating NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has announced a new hotel that will be built on the former site of Space Camp Florida. Located just 6.4 miles from the Kennedy Space Center, the new Delaware North operated Courtyard Marriot will be the closest hotel to the Kennedy Space Center.

“The increased interest and activity in our country’s space program makes this the ideal time to open a new, family-friendly hotel near Kennedy Space Center and the visitor complex,” said Scott Socha, president of Delaware North’s parks and resorts division. “Delaware North is proud to partner with Marriott to provide Space Coast visitors a level of convenience and comfort that will allow them to prolong their stay at the visitor complex and experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a front-row seat to a rocket launch,” Socha said.

The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® was relocated to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in 2016, and Delaware North purchased the land in 2017. In addition to developing the hotel at the site, Delaware North is reviewing plans for utilization of the former hall of fame building that was once owned and operated by the now-defunct U.S. Space Camp Foundation.

Groundbreaking for the new Courtyard by Marriott is expected to take place this summer, with an opening planned for fall 2020. The project is expected to create about 50 construction jobs and 35 permanent part- and full-time jobs.