Space Shuttle simulator opens this weekend

Artistic concept of the Shuttle Launch Experience simulator ride at Kennedy Space Center.

The $20 million rides aboard the Russian Soyuz capsule to the International Space Station may be fully booked through 2009, but the budget traveler still has options.

Opening Memorial Day weekend is NASA’s own space shuttle simulator at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Designed for the Holiday Inn crowd, the space tourist can get a decent sense of lift off and flight to low-earth orbit for $38 ($28 for children), less than the price of a typical theme park admission.

I think for the general public it’s as close as you can get down here on the planet,” said former NASA astronaut Rick Searfoss, one of several shuttle jockeys who helped tweak the simulator’s sound, sights and motion.

In technical rehearsals this week, the Shuttle Launch Experience begins with riders climbing an authentic looking gantry into a white “clean room” to board a model of a crew pod in the shuttle’s payload bay.

A real 8.5 min. vertical launch into orbit reaching a speed of 17,500 mph is compressed into a 5 min. jowl-rattling experience, including the key launch milestones of solid rocket-booster separation, main engine cut off and the external tank separation.

Siource: Time


One Response to “Space Shuttle simulator opens this weekend”

  1. emmalynn Says:

    Can’t wait to go on this “ride”. Am planning on visiting Florida with

    my family this summer and I’m so glad I learned of this attraction.

    Bon Voyage!!!

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