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When the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens the 44,000-square-foot Shuttle Launch Experience in early 2007, guests won't have to battle silly looking aliens or perform virtual-reality stunts they've seen many times before. Instead, this simulator will take guests on an incredible journey only astronauts have experienced -- launching into orbit aboard a Space Shuttle.
"It's not a thrill ride," said Dan LeBlanc, chief operating officer of the Visitor Complex. "You won't be dodging asteroids or battling any aliens. We have worked hard to ensure that it is as close as you can be to simulating the reality of a Space Shuttle launch within the confines of Earth's gravity."
The journey begins as visitors enter a gantry-styled walkway into a building architecturally inspired by Space Shuttle processing facilities at KSC. Astronaut testimonials then set the stage for what is to come, along with a technical explanation of the steps of a Space Shuttle launch.
Dramatic sound and lighting effects, rumbling floors and fog dramatize the moments before launch. Guests will board the mock-up Space Shuttle and strap in for launch in a unique motion simulator designed to bring the mission alive by replicating the sights, sounds, G-forces and rattle of lift-off. The sensations of launch continue as they experience Max Q, the zone where enormous forces squeeze the Shuttle, Solid Rocket Booster separation, main engine cut-off and the External Tank separation. After this experience, visitors will never view a launch in the same way.
I was on this before its grand opening to the public, its pretty cool.
The pre flight demo by the astronaut was very good. There were plasma or LCD screens mounted on Robotic arms that moved with the presentation. The room even changed color and glowed to simulate the fiery exhaust from launch.
The entire room shook and the audio system they used is better than stuff at Disney
When they 'tilt' you, they simulate the sound of keys and loose change hitting the back the orbiter. It was a nice touch.
The seats would deflate and along with the massive shaking of the ride and gave the feeling of experience g forces.
They route you right to the Nasa store after the ride, good marketing because we bought a ton of crap.
Its a must see and the highlight of the space center. It replaces my favorite Saturn 5 launch experience