Shuttle Launch Experience Open To All

The Shuttle Launch Experience at NASA's Kennedy Space Center is now open for business. Three Shuttle astronauts played key roles in designing the simulator.

(NASA's Shuttle Launch Experience)

Sound and lighting effects, rumbling floors and an entry through gantry-style walkways lead up to the simulator itself. Once on the way, 13-channel sound, an 84-inch high definition screen and chest-pounding low frequency sound creates a realistic experience.

"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."

NASA has more plans for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; a decade-long, $160 million plan will transform it into a place where all of NASA's activities around the world, and throughout the universe, can be experienced. The plan will usher in nine new exhibits, plus new and enhanced visitor amenities to bring exciting NASA projects to life.

New areas will include the Shuttle Launch Experience; NASA Central; NASA's Interplanetary Exploration 4-D Exhibit; Visit to the International Space Station; Origins: A Journey to the Birth of the Universe; Exploration of Our Home Planet; The Moon, Mars and Beyond; Space Shuttle Orbiter Exhibit; and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Interpretive Facility.

Have fun with these other real-life experiences:

Via Wired and NASA.

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