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Shuttle Simulator Prepares for Lift-off

Techstination feature for Friday, April 13, 2007

A shuttle simulator prepares for lift off…at the Kennedy Space Center. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The finishing touches are being put on what is called the Shuttle Launch Experience at the visitor complex at the Kennedy Space Center. It's a sixty million dollar attraction….designed to give visitors more a sense of what its like for the astronauts. Complex spokeswoman Andrea Farmer showed us around….the construction site…ascending through the gantry…into the pre-launch briefing room…

"We've got three large video screens, plus we're adding two robotic arms that are going to move around and this is where we're actually going to recreate a space shuttle launch. And during the actual launch mode, the floor contains 42 butt kickers. And the floor is going to shake and fog representing steam is going to come out of the floor and you're going to feel like you're just standing feet away from a space shuttle launch."

Visitors can strap into seats ….44 at a time…in the cargo bay….for the simulated launch…minus the G forces…and then…

"You're in this area, there's a star field above you and a spiral ramp that's going to take you back to earth. A projector beams images of earth seen from space, the Himalayas, the rain forest. And you're also seeing more than one hundred plaques that document each space shuttle mission that's taken place."

The Shuttle Experience will compete in some ways with Disney World's Mission Space ride, just about an hour away. The scheduled opening is May 25th. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.