Kennedy Space Center previews new attraction highlighting the future of space exploration

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral previewed plans Thursday for a new attraction focusing on the latest innovations in space exploration.


Already under construction and scheduled to open in March, “Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex” will offer an immersive experience featuring a collection of modern-day spacecraft, a 4D motion theater, and unique launch viewing opportunities.

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The Space Center’s Visitor Complex offered an early look inside the attraction Thursday.

Chief Operating Officer Therrin Protze credits the Space Center’s partnership with SpaceX for making some of the displays that will be available possible.

A glimpse into Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex

Thank you for joining us for today's Facebook LIVE event! We are so excited announce our latest attraction, Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex, slated to open March 2022. 🚀📅 This attraction is about the future of collaborative space exploration and includes a showcase of NASA and commercial spaceflight hardware with engaging displays and a "journey" through space. Stay tuned for more information to be released soon! 💻: bit.ly/3f1idKY

Posted by Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Thursday, December 2, 2021

“This is all about the next thing, and the future of NASA and Commercial Crew, and all the great companies that are coming to the Space Coast to really highlight the next chapter for space exploration,” Protze said.

In addition to showcasing actual space flown artifacts and full-scale models, the 50,000 square-foot attraction will also offer visitors interactive experiences simulating a journey through space.

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Former NASA astronaut Bruce Melnick was along for Thursday’s behind-the-scenes tour. He says the experience is unlike any other.

“There’s no such thing as a zero-gravity room or anything like that,” Melnick said. “But to experience the simulation that we have here, and the fact that we are going to be able to have a total immersion in the simulators…this is about as close as you can get.”

Gateway’s rooftop will have its own telescope that can be used for launch and landing viewings. It will also be available for special events.

“There are great things happening on the space coast to highlight,” Protze said. “That is something we want to show you now, and we can’t wait to show you the finished product.”

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