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Travel to Mars: Astronaut Training Experience at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Posted at 3:14 PM, Dec 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-19 15:18:27-05

The race to Mars has already begun!

The new Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will allow guests to “touch down” on the Red Planet.


The all-new Astronaut Training Experience will use immersive simulation technology to transport participants to Mars, train them to live and work in the harshest environment, and teach them what it’s like to travel to the Red Planet, using real NASA science to address engineering challenges. 

Astronaut Training Experience will boast the most high-tech, hands-on activities available at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex through two distinct programs: Astronaut Training Experience, for which Training Segments will be available to guests as of December 18, and Mars Base 1, which opens in January 2018. 

Astronaut Training Experience will provide an opportunity for visitors to train like an astronaut preparing for a mission to Mars. Mars Base 1 will provide participants with a chance to live on Mars for seven hours, as “rookie astronauts,” while performing base operations along with real science experiments and engineering tasks. 

“We’re offering something that most people thought they would never get to do in their lifetime,” Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex said. “For anyone who has wondered what it would be like to feel like an astronaut, to train like they train, face the challenges and issues they have to work through while under extreme pressure, Astronaut Training Experience and Mars Base 1 is now available to everyone.” 

In the Astronaut Training Experience program, groups of up to 24 will simultaneously work in multiple training areas that replicates astronaut training of the future. Trainees will attempt the same physical tasks of the actual astronauts who will travel to Mars, by working within reproduced environmental scenarios, such as the Land-and-Drive-on-Mars full-motion simulator, Walk-on-Mars virtual reality, Launch Mission and Spacewalk Training. 

Mars Base 1 provides the ultimate simulation of not just traveling to Mars, but living and working there for an entire day. Offered to individuals and groups, the mission begins with a “transport” to Mars. At three different stations within Mars Base 1, participants will be assigned real-life challenges that require analytic thinking, communication and collaboration. 

For example, in the Mars Engineering Lab, “rookie astronauts” will design and test a program that allows a team of robots to efficiently clear debris from a photovoltaic panel, restoring maximum solar power to the Base. 

They will also partner with scientists working on NASA’s Food Production by planting, harvesting, and analyzing vegetables and plants as they gather data in a series of controlled experiments taking place in the Mars Botany Lab. 

Now located among the other attractions at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and offered as an add-on to regular admission or purchased separately, Astronaut Training Experience activities are designed with a focus on problem-solving, communication and collaboration, making them ideal for team building in an interesting and inspirational environment. Programs will range from 30- and 45-minute experiences easily added to a Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex day, to a few hours or two, three-and five-day camp programs, providing the opportunity to participate based on interest level and specific educational needs. 

Ticket information: 

  • Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3 – 11.
  • ATX is $145 plus tax per participant
  • ATX Plus is $175 plus tax per participant, which  includes daily admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
  • ATX participants must be age 14 years or older. ATX Family program available for younger participants.
  • Participants 14 - 17 must be accompanied by a participating, paying adult
  • The ATX Center is located six miles west of the visitor complex
  • Height and weight restrictions apply on certain simulators
  • Dress code is shorts or pants only and athletic footwear preferred
  • Participants should be free of neck and back injuries

ATX Program Includes:

  • Spaceflight Training Simulators
  • Full Scale Space Shuttle Mission Simulation
  • ATX Gear includes mission polo shirt and ATX pen
  • Light Snacks
  • Signed astronaut lithograph
  • Certificate of Completion 


  • This program is held every Saturday
  • Check-in is at 8:30 a.m.
  • Program starts at 9 a.m.
  • Program ends at 12:50 - 1:30 p.m.

To make your reservation, call 1.855.433.4210 daily from 8 am - 6 pm EST. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit