Delaware North, which operates Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA, is set to open two training segments of a more comprehensive, innovative and immersive Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) at a new center on the visitor complex campus in Florida.
The all-new and unique Astronaut Training Experience, which replaces the longtime offsite ATX venue and program, will use immersive simulation technology to train participants to live and work on Mars in the harshest environment and teach them what it’s like to travel to the Red Planet, using real NASA science to address engineering challenges. It features two distinct programs: Astronaut Training Experience, for which two training segments will be available to guests beginning Dec. 18, and Mars Base 1, which is scheduled to open in January 2018.
Work on significant renovations to an existing campus building to house the new center and programs began earlier this year. The ATX had been part of the former U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame campus, 5 miles from the visitor complex. The Hall of Fame is now part of the Heroes and Legends attraction that opened in 2016.
Delaware North will host a media preview on Dec. 18, when the first class goes through the center. Visitor complex education program managers and veteran NASA astronauts will provide insights and interviews. The two segments available Dec. 18 feature the Mars Exploration Simulators, where guests can train to land, drive and walk on the Martian surface through immersive physical and virtual simulators, and Spacewalk Training, where guests can train to work on a truss in a microgravity simulator, moving in a frictionless environment. More information is available here.