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Kennedy Space Center – Astronaut Encounter


Rating: * * * *
Type: Meet a real live astronaut
Time: About 20 minutes
Short Take: Best for the astronaut Q&A

This is one of the Visitor Complex’s more inspired attractions, despite some unnecessary padding. A perky host warms up the audience with some space program trivia and then clowns around with two young volunteers from the audience. That’s the unnecessary part. But about ten minutes into the show, a real live veteran of the space program shows up and things get considerably more interesting.

All the astronauts who appear in this show are the real McCoy, with at least one space flight to their credit, and some of the big names of the space program have appeared on this stage. The astronaut chats for a bit and then segues effortlessly into a question and answer period that can be great fun. The host circulates through the audience with the mike so everyone can be heard. For some reason, the show always seems to end with a kid asking how the astronauts go to the bathroom in space. Just like a space mission, this show is planned to the last detail. After the Q&A, the astronaut hangs around for photo ops.

This theater is also used for live presentations blending pop culture with various aspects of space and the space program. These shows change regularly, with the most recent themed around the "Star Trek" franchise. Scripts are typically aimed at a younger audience, and the acting is less than compelling. A time-waster at best, but don't discount the appeal of air conditioning.

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