Sierra Space delivered a model of its Dream Chaser spaceplane to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for the new Gateway exhibit. This model will “fly” over visitors, appearing as if it were in space.
The Sierra Space Dream Chaser model is the second major display piece to be delivered to the visitor complex following the Falcon Heavy Side Booster in October 2021. It will be suspended in the air with its belly up, allowing for great views of the spaceplane. Many of the additional displays inside will be relocated from the current NASA Now exhibit, located inside the IMAX theater building. The opening of Gateway is anticipated for March 2022. The full name of the exhibit is “Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex” and the primary focus is on current and next-generation space exploration.
Let us set the scene for you: Dream Chaser has just completed its deorbit burn and is now preparing for reentry. The Shooting Star cargo module has just separated; it will burn up on reentry. Not Dream Chaser, it will proceed to land at Kennedy Space Center following a successful cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.
The Visitor Complex shared a couple of pictures showing the interior of Gateway. The building is still incomplete, but the Falcon Heavy Side Booster is hanging in its new home.
The mounting system is pretty clever, using the mounting points used to secure the side boosters to the center core to hang the booster from the ceiling.
Along with these displays will be a 4D Motion Theater experience called Spaceport KSC:
Upon entering the concourse, travelers will be surrounded by the sights and sounds of a galactic spaceport: atmospheric airport chatter will surround travelers as they peer through windows at distant views of active launches and landings. The main concourse features multiple screens that will showcase destination promo videos and departure and arrival information. Guests will then board their “spaceships” – in the form of a two-story, 4D flying theater – for one of four journeys: Cosmic Wonders, Daring Explorers, Red Planet or Uncharted Worlds. Each distinct destination allows for the possibility of a different experience with each visit.Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
The rooftop of Gateway will be home to three different telescopes that will be available for educators to use, and content produced by these setups will also be shared publically. The rooftop will also allow for great views of rocket launches and landings. The space will also be available for events and parties.
Want to help support Space Explored?
Shop on Amazon to support Space Explored Writers.