Source: Undercover Tourist
Mission: SPACE is meant to simulate astronaut training for the first manned mission to Mars aboard the fictional X-2 Deep Space Shuttle on the 75th anniversary of man’s first mission into space. You’ll enter the attraction as a “trainee” at the fictional International Space Training Center, where you’ll be arranged into 4-person crews before watching an introduction video starring Gary Sinise (who starred in the popular films “Apollo 13” and “Mission to Mars”).
Before you begin the Mission: SPACE experience, you’ll need to decide whether you want to be on the Green Team or the Orange Team. The Green version of the attraction is a much less intense experience. The vehicle doesn’t spin, so you won’t feel forces up to 2.4G. If you’re prone to motion sickness, this one’s for you. However, just be prepared to still be tossed around some!
The Orange version is VERY intense. This is the original version of the attraction where guests will experience forces up to 2.4G – more than twice Earth’s gravitational pull. The feeling of spinning on the Orange version can make even those with strong stomachs a little queasy.
While making your way through the queue, you’ll enter the “Sim Lab.” Here, you’ll see a rotating wheel with chambers that simulates gravity and a Lunar Rover before traveling into the Command Room. In the Command Room, notice the plaques on the wall praising space travel accomplishments, such as the First Man in Space, First Man on the Moon and more.
Before boarding the simulators, each “trainee” chooses an onboard role (navigator, pilot, commander or engineer) and is given two tasks to perform during the mission. You’ll go through orientation and flight training before embarking on your space mission.
The mission starts with the launch countdown and your seat tilting back into the launch position as you blast off into the sky. During this portion of the ride, you’ll experience intense G Forces, while your shuttle escapes the Earth’s gravity.
During your journey, you’ll experience weightlessness, rocket around the moon and even experience a brief period of simulated hyper sleep. Be sure to pay attention to your chosen task! After you’ve landed on Mars and completed the mission, you can head over to the Advanced Training Lab and try your hand at more space-themed missions.
Mission: SPACE is a headlining attraction so lines can be long by midday. If you don’t want to use a FastPass+ for this attraction, go within the first two hours after Epcot opens or wait until later in the evening when many of the park’s guests are across the lagoon in World Showcase.
If you are prone to motion sickness, you will definitely need to go on the Green version of Mission: SPACE or you may want skip it altogether (in which case, you can wait for the rest of your group in the air-conditioned play space in the pavilion, Mission: SPACE Advanced Training Lab). And obviously, it is not recommended to go on Mission: SPACE right after eating. It’s also not a good choice to go on an empty stomach, so try going when you’ve had a light meal about 1 or 2 hours beforehand.
Parents beware - the point at which the 4-person team must decide on roles can be quite contentious if you haven’t prepared your little ones beforehand. Each role will have 2 duties to perform during the mission, and one is not any better, more exciting and more important than the other. It can be impossible to convince two children who both insist on being the Navigator of that though. So a word to wise…plan on going on Mission: SPACE more than once so each of your little astronauts has a chance to be his or her desired role OR assign the roles ahead of time.
The two duties assigned to each position are outlined below. As you can see they all sound VERY important. So when they start the “I want to be the pilot!” - “No, I want to be the pilot” conversation, you can remind one of them that it’s the Commander who has the crucial task of initiating the rocket’s 1st stage separation. Here are the tasks of each role:
Pilot: Initiates 2nd stage rocket and deploys shield during meteor shower
Navigator: Fires rockets for lunar orbit insertion and fires rockets for descent to planet’s surface
Commander: Initiates rocket’s first stage separation and activates manual flight control
Engineer: Engages autopilot and prepares shuttle for landing
Tad and Lily (now that she’s tall enough to ride) LOVE choosing their positions for Mission: SPACE. They have a blast frantically pushing all the control buttons and pretending they’re actually controlling the mission. Orange vs. Green: If all four of us are going together, then we do the Green level so Mommy Frog doesn’t get sick. If Leap and Tad are by themselves, they choose the Orange Team.
Mission: SPACE is an indoor motion simulator ride located in Future World East at Epcot. The duration of the simulated flight is about 4 ½ minutes. The entire experience counting the pre-show takes about 15 minutes.
Mission: SPACE is experienced in groups of four, which each guest in his/her own individual seat. Each seat has a pull-down shoulder restraint. Guests must transfer from motorized scooter or ECV to an available wheelchair, then from the wheelchair to the attraction/ride vehicle.
Also located in the Mission: SPACE pavilion is the Mission: SPACE Advanced Training Lab, an interactive play space featuring space-themed exhibits and games.
Source: Undercover Tourist
To develop the story and design of Mission: SPACE, Walt Disney Imagineers worked with more than 25 space experts from both NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, including 5 astronauts. These 5 astronauts took part in NASA missions including Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, the space shuttle program and the International Space Station. The X-2 Deep Space Shuttle used in the attraction’s mission is a three-stage rocket and uses technologies like aerospike engines, solid hydrogen fuel, carbon nanotubes and an aerobrake. The Lunar Rover in the Sim Lab is an authentic rover on loan from the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
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