14 days 14 September 2020
15 days 8 May 2021
A comprehensive tour visiting key sites in the history and future of space exploration. From the first rockets, to the iconic missions, space stations and developing space tourism industry. Covering NASA space centres and several museums in Orlando and Houston plus the Very Large Array, Roswell and the stunning natural landscapes of New Mexico, You will end up at Virgin Galactic Spaceport America, shortly to start commercial space flights. Joining the tours will be leading academics and journalists to add depth and insight to this highly engaging tour.A truly unique way to see the USA and discover not just what drives its success in conquering space but also its astronomy, pioneering spirit, historic towns, culture and beautiful wildernesses.
In partnership with Intrepid Travel
Register now at [email protected] and we will contact you later in the year with full tour details
This is the itinerary for our September departure. We are also running a 15-day itinerary in 2021 that also includes two space centres in Washington and is accompanied by author, journalist and presenter Sarah Cruddass. More details soon.
DAY 1: ORLANDO ARRIVAL
Check into the Holiday Inn Express & Suites International Drive and meet your tour leader who will brief you on the next fortnight of adventure. Then enjoy you first guest expert seminar from journalist Rebecca Boyle, setting the scene for the tour ahead.
DAY 2: ORLANDO NASA KENNEDY SAPCE CENTER
After breakfast, transfer to the NASA Kennedy Space Center for an introductory tour. It’s a large site and you will have a two-day entry pass, so you can take your time to savour this impressive launch site. Throughout the day you will be accompanied by Rebecca who will be able to add significant depth and insight to your experience.
Included in the two-day entry pass:
•Space Shuttle Atlantis℠
•Twin IMAX® Theater 3D Films
•Shuttle Launch Experience®
•Meet an astronaut•Numerous Shows and Exhibits*
•KSC Bus Tour
In the evening return to your hotel where Rebecca will hold a second seminar.
DAY 3: ORLANDO
As the NASA Kennedy Space Center has so much to see there is a second day of exploration at your own pace.
DAY 4: ORLANDO TO ALBUQUERQUE
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Albuquerque. On arrival you head to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. Located in historic Old Town Albuquerque, the museum covers astronomy with its own planetarium and also palaeontology. After some free time in Albuquerque, a short srive to Sante Fe to check into the Inn of the Governors.
DAY 5: LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY
Today you will either have a free day to explore the beautiful adobe city of Santa Fe or take a day trip to Bandelier National Monument stopping in Los Alamos on the way. Los Alamos is the birthplace of the atomic bomb and here you can visit the Los Alamos National Laboratory where Robert Oppenheimer and other physicists created the world’s first atomic bomb. From there, you will head to Bandelier National Monument which is known for its preservation of the homes and territory of the Ancestral Puebloans of the Southwest. Here, you will find ruins dating as far back as 1150 AD.
DAY 6: TAOS
Today you head to the little mountain town of Taos. Taos is noted for its art colony, skiing, and the Taos Pueblo. The Taos pueblo is a photogenic Native American community that is said to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the country and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Taos community is known for being one of the most private, secretive, and conservative pueblos.
DAY 7: LAS CRUCES
Drive to Las Cruces where you will explore the historic town of Mesilla. It was a major stop for those traveling between San Antonio and San Diego and boasts 350 days of sunshine. See the Gadsden Purchase and Butterfield Stage stop, where Billy the Kid was held behind bars as well as shops, restaurants, entertainment and more make this charming plaza a pleasant place to pass the afternoon Check in to your hotel, there is some free time before meeting your second guest expert, academic, author and astronomer Chris Impey.
DAY 8: VIRGIN GALACTIC SPACEPORT AMERICA
In the morning you will transfer to the Virgin America Spaceport America for a guided tour with Chris. The tour includes numerous interactive exhibits, option to experience the GShock simulator (that subjects the would-be astronaut to rapid acceleration comparable to what an actual astronaut might feel in flight). Then you will venture into the Spaceport Operations Center (SOC) and interact with Spaceport America crewmembers and the state-of-the-art fire station before stopping in front of the iconic Gateway to Space terminal/hangar.Later, peruse the funky downtown of Truth or Consequences. Formerly known as Hot Springs, the city has long been a destination for wellness tourism. For centuries, people have visited these hot springs for their healing properties, “taking the waters” at the many bath houses in town. In the evening, check into the Ramada Inn Wyndham, where Chris will give Radio Astronomy & Pseudo Science seminar
DAY 9: ROSWELL AND THE NEW MEXICO MUSEUM OF SPACE HISTORY
As you make our way towards Roswell, world renowned for the “Roswell Incident”, you will stop in White Sands National Monument. The beautiful wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world’s largest gypsum dune field. After the white sand dunes, you will visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History which hosts the International Space Hall of Fame highlights the role that New Mexico has had in the US space program. Overnight at the Holiday Inn & Express Suites, Roswell.
DAY 10: ROSEWELL
After breakfast visit Roswell’s International UFO Museum and Research Center. Keeping with the space theme, you will then visit the recreation of Robert Goddard’s workshop where he developed liquid fuelled rockets in the early 1900s. Then check into the Inn of the Governors in Santa Fe.
DAY 11: THE VERY LARGE ARRAY
Today drive to Socorro to visit the VLA. The Very Large Array is comprised of 27 radio antennas, each with a dish diameter of 25 meters. They are quite stunning to visit and are able to detect extremely faint radio emissions from the distant stars. The site’s Visitor Center will inform you about radio astronomy and the VLAs role in understanding the cosmos. Your final night in New Mexico will be at the Best Western Socorro.
DAY 12: HOUSTON
After a relaxing morning in Albuquerque take a 2-hour flight to Houston for the final part of the tour.
DAY 13: NASA SPACE CENTER HOUSTON
In the morning, set off for the NASA Space Center Houston. You’ll visit historic mission control, Saturn V at Rocket Park, and more on the guided tram tour. Afterwards, explore Starship Gallery and other NASA exhibits.Next door is NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The lead site for International Space Station operations and missions, home to the Orion Multi-purpose crew vehicle, and numerous advanced human exploration projects. The centre also plays an important role in NASA’s Commercial Crew programmes.
DAY 14: DEPARTURE
Today is a free day then you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.