Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex

The future of space travel comes to life at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex with the opening of its brand-new attraction on June 15, Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex, which will feature the spaceport of the future, Spaceport KSC, and an all-new restaurant, Space Bowl Bistro.

With a focus on the present and future of collaborative space exploration, guests to Gateway can experience the interstellar travel of tomorrow while celebrating everything happening right now within the space program. It features a showcase of NASA and commercial spacecraft hardware with immersive displays, as well as a “journey” through space, a unique launch viewing opportunity and more.

“Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex is a bold new attraction where guests will personally experience NASA’s next giant leap and beyond highlighting all the excitement within the space industry,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “Guests will see a peek at the future of space travel with Spaceport KSC, an immersive experience with multiple journeys the guest can select to travel and learn through a thrilling simulated space flight.”

The 50,000-square-foot, multi-level attraction rises majestically in the shadow of the Rocket Garden and is sure to engage and inspire guests through one-of-a-kind experiences, artifacts and exhibits. Featuring a comprehensive collection of modern-day spacecraft, Gateway gives guests the chance to see the airport of the future and experience the future of space travel in ways never before possible. Through immersive education, atmospheric effects and a motion theater, guests will see, experience and feel what it’s like to travel in space.

The striking façade of the Gateway building is designed to capture attention and spark imagination even before entering. The outside walls are accented with iridescent panels of bright turquoise that will alternate with shades of purple, replicating the constant motion and brilliant colors of the universe.

Upon entering Gateway, “space travelers” are greeted with a futuristic design setting the stage for their journey. Visitors are surrounded by actual flight flown artifacts and full-scale models, placed around the floor and suspended from above to allow 360-degree viewing and interaction.
They include:

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 Upper-stage Rocket Engine
  • Boeing Crew Space Transporation-100 Starliner Mock-Up Capsule (full-scale engineering model)
  • Boeing Spacesuit
  • Boeing Starliner Simulator (full-scale model)
  • LIFE Habitat Cut-Away (scale model)
  • Lockheed Martin Space Habitat (full-scale mockup)
  • NASA Space Launch System (SLS) rocket (scale model)
  • Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 Capsule (flight flown)
  • Orion Heatshield Tiles
  • Sierra Space Dream Chaser (full-scale model)
  • Sierra Space Shooting Star™ (full-scale model)
  • SpaceX Cargo Dragon COTS-2 (flight flown)
  • SpaceX Falcon 9 booster, officially known as Booster B1023 (flight flown)
  • United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket (scale model)
  • United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket (scale model)

In addition to offering a “nose-to-nose” view of the SpaceX Falcon 9 booster, Gateway’s second floor features a 30-foot, floor-to-ceiling Robotic Space Explorers Interactive Wall with interactive, touchscreen displays, where guests can learn about 40 different satellites and probes in space. Guests can also visit the HoloTube presentation station to learn about the high-powered James Webb Space Telescope by manipulating holographic imagery, video and animation through a touchscreen kiosk.

At Spaceport KSC, guests are transported to an airport of the future, hearing the atmospheric airport chatter and seeing distant views of active launches and landings through the galactic spaceport windows. The main concourse showcases destination, departure and arrival information. Guests then board “spaceships” – in the form of a two-story, motion theater – for one of four journeys: Cosmic Wonders, Daring Explorers, Red Planet or Uncharted Worlds. Each distinct destination allows for the possibility of a different experience with each visit.

Plus, guests can refuel their energy at Space Bowl Bistro, a new restaurant featuring Bistro Bowls, including refreshing acai bowls and choose-your-protein savory bowls. Choices range from quinoa, rice, greens and noodle bases to proteins – including barbecue short rib, marinated ahi tuna, jackfruit, and more. It also offers a selection of soft drinks, as well as coconut water, coffee, tea and domestic beer. 

Related Articles

Latest Articles