Kennedy Space Center to debut Mars training experience

By Jerry Hume, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, December 18, 2017, 1:08 PM EST

The next generation of astronauts will soon be able to train as if they’re headed to the red planet.

  • New attraction lets you train for mission to Mars
  • KSC to debut Astronaut Training Experience
  • Includes simulator and virtual reality headset

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is preparing to open the new Astronaut Training Experience.

“For the last 20 or so years we’ve been concentrating on training people on how to fly space shuttles,” said Jon McBride, a former astronaut who now works for the complex. “Well we don’t have those anymore. So we’re looking into the future, training our new astronauts how to fly the Orion.”

The training experience includes a simulator that prepares guests for landing on the surface of Mars.

A virtual reality headset lets visitors train for walking on the rocky surface.

There’s even a Mars base camp where people can learn to grow planets for food on the red planet.

“The guests that are coming in today, the experiments they are doing, they’re doing the same thing that NASA interns would do and the data that they collect may determine which are the plants that we end up sending to Mars,” said Dee Maynard, education programs manager at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Part of the experience will open later this week.

The grand opening is set for February.

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