Visitors to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center now have access to a new paid attraction that gives them a front row seat to the historic flight of Apollo 11. Using state of the art virtual reality equipment, Apollo 11 VR gives visitors the chance to sit in the Apollo 11 capsule during the launch of the mighty Saturn V and a front row seat to Neil Armstrong’s historic first steps on the moon.
During a recent visit, I had the chance to try out the new VR experience and found it to be an amazing addition to the center’s list of simulators. Visitors are seated during the entirety of the session but have the ability to easily turn their chair in all directions to check out all the activity around them using the VR goggles. The launch of the Saturn V was amazing with access to a window to watch the Florida coastline quick fade away during ascent with real mission audio in my ear, a rumble in my seat and a quick thumbs up from Neil Armstrong, virtually seated next to me. The moonwalk experience was the icing on the cake, with the ability to turn and admire the moon landscape that was so realistic that I had to fight the urge to touch the surface.
This is the perfect experience for anyone that has ever dreamed of being an astronaut or wanted to experience high definition virtual reality without purchasing thousands of dollars of equipment. Be sure to check out the video below of Apollo 16 Astronaut Charlie Duke as he experienced a preview of the Apollo 11 VR experience in 2015. I have to agree with him and say that the whole experience was fantastic!
The Apollo 11 VR experience is located near the “Spark Lab!” and costs an additional $10 ($8 for members). Tickets can be purchased in advance on RocketCenter.com, the main ticket desk or at the Apollo VR lab.
Wes is a two time Space Camp graduate and space enthusiast with a love of North Alabama. When he isn't busy being a dad he enjoys travel, volunteering and working his life away. All comments are my own.