The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida has evolved a great deal since just being a few displays on card tables in the 1960s. It received a $2.3 million upgrade in the ’70s and, once Delaware North Companies took the reigns in 1995, it evolved into a self-supporting (no federal funding) tourist destination.
At the Space Center you can explore the history of America in space at the Rocket Gardens, check out the space shuttle Atlantis, and take a look at the astronaut Hall of Fame. Attendees can also experience The Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted module, an adventure that shows current happenings at NASA in a large theater. You get to tour a mock-up of a four-crew capsule, try out a few simulators scattered throughout the exhibit, and take a look at a few other vehicles.
The immersive nature of the Kennedy Space Center is getting an upgrade via Microsoft and it also focuses on Mars. In Destination: Mars, Space Center visitors will be able to equip HoloLens and explore a few Mars sites with imagery procured by NASA’s rover Curiosity. The trip is even guided by a holographic Buzz Aldrin, who walked on the moon with Apollo 11, and Erisa Hines, the driver of the Curiosity rover.
Mixed reality tools like HoloLens are already being used to train astronauts and even to assist elevator technicians, so it’s always awesome to see how civilians can tap into these unique experiences as well. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) also debuted a similar exhibit earlier this year, enhancing its film and cinema wing with virtual reality.
Destination: Mars operates from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., is open to the public 13 years and older with a regular admission ticket. You can make a reservation for the exhibit on the day of your visit and it runs until January 1st, 2017.