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Heroes and Legends

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex | Cape Canaveral, FL | 2017

What makes a hero? Kennedy Space Center’s new Heroes & Legends attraction explores that question through a series of immersive environments within the 20,000 SF exhibit.

What it Was

What makes a hero? Kennedy Space Center’s new Heroes & Legends attraction explores that question. This journey of discovery is comprised of a series of immersive environments within the 20,000 sf exhibit that pay tribute to the inspiring pioneers of space exploration.

What We Did

Creative producer Falcon’s Creative Group wanted guests to experience the stories and achievements of NASA’s great legends as a four-act progression. Lighting sets the tone for guests and helps guide them on their journey through the exhibit. Outside, site lighting illuminates the ramp leading to the attraction and gives powerful presence to the façade and signage. Inside, guests begin their journey at the first act, a seven-minute film titled “What is a Hero,” where lighting reveals hidden objects like a full-size model robot from “Lost in Space.” In act two, visitors experience space “Through the Eyes of a Hero,” a 4-D multimedia presentation that takes them on a historical adventure, beginning with the first manned space missions and ending with a glimpse into the future of space travel. Digitally tunable, color-changing LED luminaires fill the architectural space with dynamic illumination, giving the 28-foot, 225-degree screen a 360-degree feeling. Act three’s “A Hero Is…” features IR-sensor-activated space capsule-style pods that explore different attributes of heroism. Space program artifacts are illuminated and a short video piece plays as guests select icons on touchscreens. In the next room, a re-creation of a 1960s-era Mission Control room is equipped with original consoles and equipment. A favorite experience for guests is the video, audio, and lighting reenactment of the ground team working with John Glenn to solve a problem in outer space. Past the control room, visitors look into the Gemini IX-A capsule to see a holographic Pepper’s ghost of astronaut Gene Cernan in space. Fittingly, the guests’ trip through the attraction ends in the completely re-imagined Astronaut Hall of Fame, which has finally come home to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Here, the astronauts’ original engraved glass portraits shine in new edge-lit frames with mission badges integrated into them. Display cases are also backlit for a subtle yet dramatic effect. The Kennedy Space Center adds new members to this distinguished display each year.

Why it Worked

We used high quality, cost efficient, color-tunable architectural LED luminaires to achieve the dramatic ambient and artifact illumination, while significantly reducing fixture costs. What’s more, the system requires virtually no maintenance, offering the complex further cost savings. Theater and architecture come together in this exhibit to create a dynamic environment where visitors of all ages leave with a sense of excitement and knowledge about the past, present, and future of space exploration.