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Artemis: Next Giant Leap takes off at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

by Attractions Magazine Staff

NASA’s Artemis missions will return humans to the moon through innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before — and starting today, July 19, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will offer the next generation of space explorers the chance to take their own “giant leap”!

artemis: next giant leap

The Visitor Complex will host special programs and events designed to celebrate and elevate the Artemis missions during Artemis: Next Giant Leap, from scavenger hunts to dance parties and engaging discussions with industry experts and astronauts.

“NASA’s Artemis missions are a great opportunity to engage and inspire our guests with a number of experiences around the visitor complex,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer. “Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will continue to tell the history of the space program while educating the next generation of space explorers through entertaining and interactive exhibits, programs and special events.”

As part of the Artemis Scavenger Hunt, guests can pick up a Mission Manual at the Information desk or the Space Shop and answer questions about NASA’s next giant leap during visits to six information stations throughout the complex. Each station will feature a short video that corresponds with questions in the manual, and participants will receive a sticker once they select the correct answers. Once all answers are completed, explorers can return to the Information desk to collect a “Mission Success” reward.

Guests will also be able to learn more about the Artemis missions with a series of short films that explore their key elements. Played daily under the Atlantis Pavilion, the Artemis Short Film Festival will feature everything from ground support to launch services. Viewers will learn how the concept began and what the future holds for deep space travel.

On July 22 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., veteran astronaut Norm Thagard will discuss “Artemis: From Shuttle to SLS” in Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted. As a veteran astronaut, Thagard logged 140 days in space and was the first American to occupy the Russian Mir space station. Currently, he serves as Associate Dean of the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering.

Veteran NASA astronaut Mike Mullane will also discuss “Artemis: From Shuttle to SLS” on July 24 at 3 p.m. Mullane began his career in the U.S. Air Force, was chosen as a mission specialist in the first class of space shuttle astronauts and flew on three missions — including two on space shuttle Atlantis. Guests will learn more about how Artemis builds upon the lessons learned from NASA’s legacies, including the space shuttle.

Under Artemis, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon. Guests will be able to learn more about NASA’s plans and the influence the former space programs have had on this “next giant leap” from veteran astronaut Nicole Stott during “Women in Space” on July 26 at 3 p.m. in Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted. Stott has flown two spaceflights and spent 104 days living and working in space. Attendees will hear about how her career started as a structural design engineer before becoming a space shuttle astronaut, and how the science she helped develop is helping Artemis become reality.

On July 27-28 at 1 p.m., experts will hold a live, virtual chat from the Universe Theater to discuss how NASA plans to return to the Moon. During “Hear the Experts,” guests will listen to Artemis engineers, managers and communicators as they share updates and take part in a Q&A session.

The celebration will come to a close with the Artemis: Next Giant Leap Block Party at NASA Central from July 30 – Aug. 1 (but keep in mind that July 30 is blocked out for annual passholders due to a planned launch). A DJ will be on-hand to spin tunes starting at 1 p.m. each day, and a wandering street performer will also travel around the visitor complex performing science demonstrations and magic tricks.

All Artemis: Next Giant Leap events are included with daily admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. To learn more, and to make a reservation, visit KennedySpaceCenter.com.

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