Space...the final frontier. As a kid I would sit mesmerized by all things space related. Star Trek, Aliens, Astronomy, Astronauts and NASA.
So when I got an invitation to preview the "Shuttle Launch Experience" attraction at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, I couldn't wait. This is one part of a 10 year, 160 million dollar renovation at the complex.
The evening event started with a bang as the group walked into the complex to find great music and plenty of food and drink. They really spread out the red carpet for us. As the evening progressed we were invited to the new attraction before Mannhiem Steamroller was scheduled to play for us. Up the long gantry we went and into a holding room where the preshow was excellent. Multiple screens showed how the shuttle is launched while our video host explained the process. Everywhere were warnings and disclaimers about who should not ride for health reasons. We were ushered into another holding room that separated us into rows before the doors whooshed open and we were seated inside a shuttle recreation. Soon we launched and the shaking vehicle tilted us backwards so that we were looking straight up at the screen. We leveled off and then rocked forward after a quick emergency maneuver before landing safely. It was fun but milder than I expected. After the initial shaking, it was really quite smooth and even my friend who is scared of rides was not uncomfortable with this one.
After the ride, we ate and drank some more while enjoying the concert and exploring the grounds until it was time to go. A great evening at Kennedy Space Center and I look forward to the next visit. Beam me up, Scotty. (Josh Hallett has a nice post on this attraction at his blog.)