/ Monday, September 17th, 2007

“You’re here today to train for the greatest adventure of the history of man kind. The exploration of deep space. I know your probably feeling a little bit nervous right now, but don’t worry. Every astronaut has felt that way one time or another. Even the heros who went to the moon. But there is.. One thing they have that you don’t have.. Training…”

    • Imission-space.jpgn the five years that it took to develop the Mission: Space attraction, more than 650 Disney Imagineers spent over 350,000 hours (or about 40 years) in its development.
    • The model of the moon located at the entrance to Mission: Space contains colored markers that indicate the 29 landing sites of  manned and unmanned missions to the moon by by the United States and Soviet Union between 1959 and 1976. The single red marker denotes where Apollo 11 landed on July 20, 1969, and man first stepped on the moon.
    • The motto of the International Space Training Center is taken from a speech by President John F. Kennedy: “We choose to go to the Moon … not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”
    • At the welcome center for Mission: Space, known as Planetary Plaza, guests are introduced to the story line of the International Space Training Center (ISTC) and their eventual journey into space. Located in the plaza, which took two years to construct, are giant spheres representing the solar system, as well as quotations from persons who have contributed to the success of space travel throughout history.
    • Did you know that almost 100 different shades of red were sampled before Disney’s Imagineers chose the color of the red planet in front of the attraction?
    • “Mission: Space” takes place at the 45,000 square-foot ISTC in the year 2036. The ISTC is a fictional joint venture between many nations who are enthusiastic about the exploration of space.
    • During the preflight movie, you are told by your Commander that the shuttle is powered by solid hydrogen. This evidences NASA’s (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) cooperation with the development of Mission: SPACE, as solid hydrogen fuel, as well as aerospace rocket engines and hypersleep, all are technologies mentioned in the attraction that are actively being pursued and developed by the space agency.
    • Work Load: It took more than 650 Walt Disney Imagineers more than 350,000 hours (the equivalent of 40 years of time) to develop Mission: SPACE. The Imagineers’ efforts took place over a five-year period.
    • Moon Missions: The 29 missions that the United States and the Soviet Union sent to the moon between 1959 and 1976 are each designated on the moon sphere in the Planetary Plaza of Mission: SPACE.
    • The Right Red: Nearly 100 shades of red were mocked up before Imagineers decided on the color of the red planet that dominates the dramatic façade of Mission: SPACE.
    • How Sweet It Is: It would take 13,136,640 jellybeans to fill the Earth sphere in Planetary Plaza; 22,702,080 to fill the moon sphere and 53,809,920 to fill the Jupiter sphere.
    • How BIG Is It? Jupiter, at 16 feet in diameter, is the biggest celestial body in the Planetary Plaza of Mission: SPACE. Earth is 10 feet in diameter and the moon is 12 feet in diameter. (As they exist in our galaxy, Earth is 7,926 miles in diameter; the moon is 2,160 miles in diameter and Jupiter is 88,700 miles in diameter.)
    • Astronaut Jobs: In Mission: SPACE each guest performs a role vital to the mission — commander, pilot, navigator or engineer. Here are some legendary astronauts that have performed those same roles:
    • Commander:
      • Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11
      • Jim Lovell, Apollo 13
      • Alan Shepard, Apollo 14
    • Pilot:
      • John Glenn, Friendship 7
      • Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11
      • Engineer (Mission Specialist):
    • Dr. Sally Ride, STS 7
    • Looking Ahead: Guests travel in the X-2 rocket on their mission to Mars. The design of the rocket is based on advanced propulsion technology, which could conceivably take astronauts into deep space in the future.
    • Futures Past: Close inspection of the Gravity Wheel reveals the logo for the one-time Epcot attraction Horizons affixed to the hub of the wheel. Horizons, which was located on the site of Mission: SPACE, featured a look at plausible future habitats, including … space!
    • Yes Man: Trevor Rabin, a one-time member of the rock band Yes and a prolific composer of motion picture scores, composed the music for Mission: SPACE.
    • They Said It: There are 10 legendary quotes by famed space explorers and supporters of space exploration located around the walls of Planetary Plaza. They include:
    • “Look upward…From this world to the heavens” Plato
    • “The Universe…stands continually open to our gaze…” Galileo Galilei
    • “We set sail on this new sea because there is knowledge to be gained…” President John F. Kennedy

 

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