Kids, Tweens, Teens, Adults
Dark, Spinning, Thrill Ride
Due to the nature of the experience, service animals are not permitted on this attraction.
Fulfill your fantasy of being an astronaut as you dodge meteors, navigate nebulae and slingshot around the moon.
Before you board, actor Gary Sinise briefs you as you prepare for your mission to Mars on the X-2 Deep Space Shuttle at the International Space Training Center (ISTC). Each member of your 4-cadet crew will assume an important role: navigator, pilot, commander or engineer. During your flight, each cadet will be instructed to initiate a mission-critical sequence, so be prepared!
Board your vessel, lower your harness and brace yourself for the incredible force of lift-off. Get goose bumps as you arc around the moon and enter hypersleep. Then hold on tight as you attempt a precarious precision landing on the planet’s red alien surface.
Your crew is counting on you to do your part to ensure a successful mission and a safe trip back to Earth!
Mars-bound cadets can choose from 2 levels of training. Both offer the same training mission but differ in intensity. The Orange Team is the more intense training experience, while the Green Team is less intense.
The Orange Team experience uses a centrifuge that spins and tilts to simulate speed and G-forces during launch and re-entry. The Green Team experience is a motion simulator ride that does not spin and is less likely to cause motion sickness.
If you are prone to motion sickness or uncertain about which level to choose, you should opt for the Green Team for a less intense but still thoroughly exhilarating experience.
Your journey to Mars begins at Planetary Plaza, where you’ll find inspirational quotes from pioneers of space travel.
From there, make your way to the Simulation Lab, which houses a 35-foot-tall gravity wheel like the kind NASA uses to simulate gravity in deep space. A genuine NASA Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), one of only 4 in existence, is also on display, on loan from the Smithsonian. Then pass by the Command Room, a glass bullpen where ISTC mission-control personnel are hard at work, manning their control panels.
As you prepare to come face to face with outer space, browse astronaut memorabilia and plaques commemorating notable firsts in space exploration: the first man in space, the first man on the moon, even the first family in space!
Those who wish to withdraw from the mission at this time can head directly to the Mission: SPACE Advanced Training Lab, an interactive space-themed play area where the rest of your crew will reconvene with you after their space odyssey.