Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex near Orlando unveiled a space exploration attraction, Space Shuttle AtlantisSM, at what is now the new home of the historic spacecraft. The 90,000-square foot facility includes multimedia presentations that feature more than 60 interactive exhibits and AV simulators that provide a look at the 33 missions of Atlantis. Working with operators Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts and design firm PGAV Destinations, Electrosonic provided AV design consulting, integration and installation.

“The fact that Electrosonic already had a track record of delivering audio-visual systems to some of the biggest and most complicated attractions in Orlando was a big factor in our selecting them for the initial consulting,” says Emily Howard, AIA, project architect at PGAV Destinations.

The entry ramp of the attraction features 26 speakers (ceiling and surface-mounted box types) installed and fed by a multi-channel server in the Electrical Equipment Room (EER). The batching area and the pre-show provide historical context to the upcoming exhibits, the significance of Atlantis and how the Space Shuttle Program has paved the way for NASA’s next generation.

In the pre-show, four 2560×1600 projectors are edge blended in a 2×2 configuration for the main screen’s immersive experience. Sixteen 1400×1050 projectors edge blended in groups of four add video content to four arches. The system features video mapping not commonly associated with visitor attractions, and is controlled and synchronized using a show controller. Eighteen speakers, including four subwoofers, deliver audio sourced from a 16-channel player.


A 110×20-foot, 8mm LED wall bolted onto a sub frame acts as a backdrop to the orbiter. The 8mm refers to the distance between each LED light on the panel; the lower the number, the crisper the display. During the pre-show, it displays the earth as the Atlantis is revealed. Electrosonic selected custom-configured media servers typically found in digital planetariums or high-demand multimedia attractions for the batching area, preshow and LED backdrop. Mousetrappe created the content.

The main exhibit space featuring the Atlantis orbiter is supported by interactive and simulation exhibits as well as two additional theaters. The Hubble Close-up Movie Wall uses two projectors to display images from the telescope. The International Space Station Micro Gravity Theater gives a realistic view of astronauts aboard the ISS. It uses a large TransScreen, a translucent membrane, as the projection surface for a pair of 10,000-lumen projectors.

Interactive stations include the Crew Module AR and the Aft Fuselage AR, which consist of multi-axis movable pods with 26-inch touchscreens, small USB-powered line array speakers, webcams and rotary encoders to feed position information to a PC. The EVA, or space walk, interactive features 65-inch LCD screens with 3D depth-sensing systems allowing visitors to trigger media.


Simulators provide visitors even further interactions; Landing the Orbiter simulators comprise nine kiosks fitted with 26-inch displays and Robotic Arm and Docking Station simulators consist of twelve separate kiosks each with four 19-inch displays, all equipped with their own PC and speaker. Finally, the Beanie Cap Floor Interactive features an SXGA+ resolution projector, which Electrosonic custom-mounted to throw the image through a 45-degree mirror down to the floor.