Heroes and Legends at The Kennedy Space Center

Overview

The awe-inspiring story of ‘Heroes and Legends’ along with the Astronaut Hall of Fame adds another dimension to the space programme presentation at the Kennedy Space Centre, and ensures that the 93 inductees to the Hall of Fame will never be forgotten. The immersive story telling experience explores what it means to be a hero and inspires visitors, culminating in the final exploration of humanity’s greatest frontier – space. Visitors get their chance to see the astronaut’s journey through his own eyes in this one-of-a-kind immersive experience.

Challenge

The story of the first astronauts in space is dramatic, but for today’s tech-savvy and experience-weary generation the new ‘Heroes and Legends’ attraction needed create something truly spectacular to make a real connection.  This connection also needed to be maintained across the entire visitor complex through seamless integrations.

Solution

The answer was in a 4D experience that explores what qualities make a ‘hero’ – in space or otherwise – and uses touch, sight, sound and movement to reveal what it must have been like for these early astronauts setting off into unknown territories.  To create a continually novel guest experience, motion-triggered sensory responses put the visitor in the driving seat in some aspects of the attraction but, in others, the feeling of being part of a group adds another level of understanding about a time which changed expectations about what was possible. 

Approach

Visitors enter the building and ascend a ramp where the multimedia presentation ‘What Is A Hero?” unfolds, showing what makes a hero and covering not just astronauts but other great public figures. A pair of ceiling-mounted Christie DWU851-Q projectors display live-action footage on two asymmetrical widescreens.  To complement the live footage, there are diamond shaped tiles around the room featuring graphic images of heroes with supplementary information and models of rockets fill the centre of the room.  Hidden features are revealed throughout the show, using lighting effects. 

Next is ‘Through The Eyes Of A Hero’, in the 4D multi-sensory theatre. At this point, 14 Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors are used to project a star field onto a 220o screen before the show begins.  This, along with wind effects, ensure the visitor can experience the sense of real danger and excitement of the first manned space missions.  This is accompanied by narration from astronauts of those early days, such as Jim Lovell and Neil Armstrong among others.

At the end of the show, visitors are invited to see what are the nine attributes that make up a hero, through learning pods stationed around ‘A Hero Is ….’.  Entry to the pods triggers sound and video footage available through a touchscreen. Holographic technology inside the actual Gemini IX-A capsule shows the astronaut Gene Cernan on a space walk outside of the capsule and live footage is also mapped to contour the capsule and reflect off the glass.

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