Tuesday, October 9, 2007
On this day four years ago, EPCOT welcomed its newest attraction: Mission: SPACE. The ceremony is overseen by Michael Eisner, Hewlett Packard chief Suit Carly Fiorina and the head of NASA, Sean O'Keefe. A collection of legendary American Astronauts were in attendance.
The ride which cost north of $200 million when research, design and construction are totaled is one of the Mouse's most expensive projects...
The ride simulates astronaut training for the first human mission to Mars aboard an X-2 Deep Space Shuttle in 2036(The year 2036 can be figured out from plaques in the attraction's queue celebrating 75 years of human space flight, including two fictional milestones in the future.) Riders become "trainees" at the International Space Training Center where they are arranged into crews of four before boarding. Actor Gary Sinise does the introduction.
After several cases of people complaining about the intensity of the ride the Mouse decides to have two versions of it... the original ride and one slightly less intense.
Mission: SPACE is one of the last big budget attractions ordered by Eisner... work is proceeding ahead on the last large project he approved: Forbidden Mountain(which will become Expedition Everest).