Click here to download Hi Def .mov Broll
Just in time for the Fourth of July, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex today celebrated the grand opening of the new “Great Balls of Fire” interactive exhibit, which provides guests with an in-depth and hands-on experience as they learn about asteroids, comets and meteorites. As part of the grand opening, former astronaut, Dr. Tom Jones discussed how NASA research allows us to better defend Earth against the impact of asteroids.
Great Balls of Fire allows Visitor Complex guests to discover the risks that these space projectiles present to our planet and explores how we keep track of near-Earth objects while examining the effects of possible impacts.
Dr. Tom Jones, four-time space shuttle astronaut, was the guest of honor at the grand opening. As a senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Jones addressed the future direction of human space exploration, uses of asteroid and space resources and defending Earth from asteroid impacts.
Within the Great Balls of Fire exhibit is Asteroid Encounter, where guests can climb aboard a “spaceship” and blast off to the asteroid belt and Jupiter while compiling data about asteroids and comets. Guests also can explore what would happen if one of these celestial bodies were to hit their hometown, determine Science Fact or Science Fiction of Hollywood movie clips, build their own solar system and much more.
“Great Balls of Fire is an interactive exhibit that educates guests on the risks and benefits of asteroids and comets,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “We’ve never had anything like this at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and it’s a great way to create an entertaining and fun learning environment for children and adults.”
Great Balls of Fire is scheduled to run until January 4, 2015.