One more external tank separation, and we are out of the blue and into the black of Earth orbit. The cabin lurches forward. All goes quiet. (This is perhaps the nicest trick of the experience, as our quick tilt toward the screen hangs us out of our seats slightly, creating the illusion of weightlessness.) Bay doors open above us, and here is the payoff: the boot of Italy passing by as our blue-haloed planet rotates in space above us.
Hopping out of the simulator, my Earth legs come back in no time. A spiral
walkway down from the experience honors the missions of past shuttles and
offers another view of the planet in the form of a globe spiraling away at the
bottom of the ramp.
Other attractions at kennedy space center
Departing daily from the Visitor Complex, buses take viewers through
landmarks such as the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the International Space Station
Center and the LC shuttle-launching pads. Reserve your spot in the "NASA Up
Close" and " Cape Canaveral: Then and Now" tours for a closer look at the
launch pads and the history of the complex (additional $21 adults, $15 ages
3-11, for reserved tours).
Imax Space Films
See astronaut footage come to life in two back-to-back Imax theaters, with
films such as Space Station 3D and the new Magnificent Desolation: Walking on
the Moon 3D, narrated by Tom Hanks.
Sit in for a Q & A session with the best and brightest of NASA's space
corps, scheduled throughout the day. Astronauts such as John Glenn, Story
Musgrave and Jim Lovell have graced the stage since the program began. For a
closer brush with fame, reserve your seats for "Lunch with an Astronaut" once
daily (additional $22.99 adults, $15.99 ages 3-11, for lunch encounter).
Mad Mission to Mars
Kids become astronauts-in-training at this live-action show that
incorporates 3D animation and wind effects for an interactive trip through the
See behemoth relics such as the 223-foot Saturn 1-B in the renovated Rocket
Garden. Walk the gantry to the Apollo II mission while the kids crawl inside a
real Mercury capsule.
Astronaut Training Experience
A full KSC tour is included in this all-day package, along with a stint in
the rotating multi-axis trainer and a gravity chair that replicates the low
gravity of a moon walk. Reservations required (cost is $250 for a single
person; family and corporate packages available; includes meal, tour and
admission to Visitor Complex.)