Get Launched into Space at KSC

Well, okay, not quite. But the new ride scheduled to open at Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center on Memorial Day sounds pretty nifty nonetheless.

The Space Shuttle Experience cost $65 million and is being billed as a major departure for the attraction.

“We have a lot of artifacts and history here, but the modern visitor wants more than a static display,” LeBlanc said. “We wanted to do something motion-based with our storytelling here. Visitors really want to learn more about the shuttle program, and they also want to experience a launch.”

The ride is housed in a 44,000-square-foot building, which visitors enter through a gantry walkway. Once inside the building, they are seated in any of four simulator cabins, each holding as many as 44 people. The cabin faces a large projection and plasma television screen held on robotic arms.

The ride simulates a launch, replete with vibrations and jolts. Once in space, riders get a view of the Earth when a likeness of payload-bay doors opens. Unlike Walt Disney World’s Mission: Space ride, the visitor center’s equipment doesn’t spin and won’t increase G-force pressure on its occupants.

According to KSC, the ride will outlive the Space Shuttle program, which is scheduled to end in a few years.

Be sure to check out all the other great things to see and do at Kennedy Space Center.

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