Want to train like a real life astronaut on a simulator? Fortunately, a few NASA space centers actually offer simulator experiences to their visitors.
The following is a list of Astronaut Training Simulators:
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex:
Address: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a space museum located at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The center features three types of simulators that visitors can use to experience what it’s like to work and travel in space.
Space Shuttle Launch Experience:
The Space Shuttle Launch Experience is a simulation of the shuttle’s launch and ascent into orbit.
Participants take part in a prelaunch briefing by veteran space shuttle commander Charles Bolden before strapping in for the eight-and-a-half minute ascent into orbit.
The Space Shuttle Launch Experience is included in the price of admission to the visitor center complex and lasts about 30 minutes.
Space Shuttle Atlantis Simulator:
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is home to the Space Shuttle Atlantis which features high-tech simulators that visitors can interact with to learn how to pilot the space shuttle, dock with the International Space Station and land at Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis Simulator is included in the price of admission to the visitor center complex and is about 15 minutes long.
Microgravity Training Stage:
The Microgravity Training Stage features a Microgravity Simulator that allows visitors to train for weightlessness and conduct a spacewalk. Participants will work as a team to complete a series of training challenges about working on Mars.
The Microgravity Training Stage is not included in the price of admission to the complex and requires a separate purchase.
Land and Drive on Mars Training Stage:
The Land and Drive on Mars Training Stage is a simulator that allows participants to experience varying degrees of motion intensity while they drive over the rough terrain of Mars.
The Land and Drive on Mars Training Stage is not included in the price of admission to the complex and requires a separate purchase.
Astronaut Training Experience:
The Astronaut Training Experience is a program that allows participants to experience astronaut training for the next mission to Mars through immersive simulation technology.
The Astronaut Training Experience is not included in the price of admission to the complex and requires a separate purchase.
In addition to the Astronaut Training Simulators, the complex also offers guided tours of its facility, space camp, NASA Space Academy, astronaut encounters, a NASA overnight experience and also allows visitors to touch a moon rock that was collected during the Apollo 17 mission.
Space Center Houston:
Address: 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX
Space Center Houston is a science museum and official visitor center for the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. The center offers three astronaut training simulators:
Orion Launch Simulator:
The Mission Mars exhibit features a simulated Orion capsule which allows visitors to see, touch and hear what it will be like for the first astronauts who travel to Mars.
Motion Base Simulator:
The center offers motion simulator rides that use a powerful hydraulic and theater system to mimic the feel of space travel. The simulators are available on a first-come first-served basis and are not included in general admission.
The center also offers virtual reality simulators during which visitors experience a spacewalk aboard the International Space Station and experience the view from low-earth orbit.
In addition to the simulators, the center also offers guided tours of the center, explorer camp program, astronaut encounters, a NASA overnight experience and also allows visitors to touch a moon rock that was collected during the Apollo 17 mission as well as a Mars rock collected from a meteorite that landed on earth.
“Visitor Information.” Space Center Houston, spacecenter.org/visitor-information/
“Mission Mars.” Space Center Houston, spacecenter.org/exhibits-and-experiences/mission-mars/
“Tickets & Packages.” Kennedy Space Center, kennedyspacecenter.com/info/tickets#AstronautTrainingExperience
“Shuttle Launch Experience.” Kennedy Space Center, kennedyspacecenter.com/explore-attractions/shuttle-a-ship-like-no-other/shuttle-launch-experience
“Astronaut Training Simulators.” Kennedy Space Center, kennedyspacecenter.com/explore-attractions/shuttle-a-ship-like-no-other/astronaut-training-simulators