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‘Go Vertical’ on Memorial Day Weekend

Shuttle Launch Experience: Unprecedented Attraction Premiers at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (May 22, 2007) – NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex unveils the first interactive visitor experience of its kind — Shuttle Launch Experience — lifting off this Memorial Day weekend. This premier attraction officially opens Friday, May 25; the culmination of three years of development by veteran Space Shuttle astronauts, under the guidance of NASA. Shuttle Launch Experience will send visitors through the sensations of launching into Earth's orbit from Kennedy Space Center, the birthplace of American space exploration, just east of Orlando.

The design team, veteran NASA astronauts and renowned attraction experts created this authentic experience, deploying sophisticated motion technology, special effects seats and high fidelity visual and audio presentations. This unique-in-the-world experience immerses visitors in the sights, sounds and sensations of launching into space fully vertical. The launch begins at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 25, 2007 with a colorful and patriotic parade of American and Space Shuttle mission flags carried proudly by young people from Florida and across the country. Distinguished speakers include Florida Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, Kennedy Space Center Director Bill Parsons and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Chief Operating Officer Daniel LeBlanc. First Space Shuttle Commander John Young and Pilot Robert Crippen will cut the ribbon and lead the way for 44 astronauts to take the inaugural launch of Shuttle Launch Experience.

Visitors then embark on Shuttle Launch Experience at noon, becoming the first guests to experience the thrill of a Space Shuttle's rush to Earth's orbit. On Saturday, May 26, the launch culminates with Manheim Steamroller live in concert onsite at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at 9:00 p.m. The Grammy AwardTM -winning band, founded by Chip Davis in the early 70s, has sold more than 18 million albums worldwide. "We're thrilled to celebrate the culmination of this phenomenal $60 million project by unveiling Shuttle Launch Experience to the public, and inviting them to feel what the astronauts have felt, and see what they have seen – first-hand," remarked Daniel LeBlanc, Chief Operating Officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. "Not only will they experience the thrill of launching into space, they will marvel at the spectacular view of Earth from space, through state-of-the-art digital technology." Shuttle Launch Experience combines the detailed accounts of astronaut experiences with the expertise of premier design engineers to produce a true-to-life experience unique to visitor attractions around the world.

The technical highlights include an amazingly realistic simulation of the space shuttle's eight and a half-minute ascent into orbit, custom-designed crew cabins with unprecedented vertical range, high-definition audiovisual effects, and advanced seating effects to maximize the sense of realism. About Kennedy Space Center Visitor ComplexKennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is charting a new course to bring far-reaching NASA exploration events and triumphs to visitors – up close and personal. The journey takes NASA's space exploration story to the next level through new technology and interactive experiences. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has been operated by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Inc. on behalf of NASA since 1995. More than 1.4 million visitors annually tour Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the gateway to a working space center and one of Florida's most popular destinations. Admission includes Shuttle Launch Experience, inspiring tours of NASA's spaceport facilities, daily Astronaut Encounters, towering rockets, IMAX; space films and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame;.

For more information, call 321-449-4444 or visit