Forward Thinking Designs Elevates Kennedy Space Center Attraction
Updated: Aug 24
Forward Thinking Designs has partnered with MDSX and Kennedy Space Center to enhance the Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) attraction, which simulates a mission to and day of work on Mars. The enhancement involves replacing wired headsets with wireless EQUIP All-In-One headsets, delivering a more seamless and engaging experience for guests.
Guests over the age of 10 are invited to experience astronaut training at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida with authentic NASA science and engineering. Guests will have the opportunity to experience several training elements for a mission to Mars, including launching, landing, and exploring. Also included in the experience is a spacewalk in the Microgravity Simulation and driving a Mars rover on Land and Drive on Mars
During this attraction, guests wear a helmet equipped with a face shield and headset. Each of the experiences in the attraction, such as the Microgravity Simulation and Land and Drive on Mars, uses a set of these helmets/headsets for mission control (the operators) to facilitate back-and-forth communication with guests while completing each mission and provide protection.
Our design team developed a custom-printed shell that securely houses and mounts the headset within the helmet, designed with comfort and convenience in mind. The shell allows for adjustable height and pitch, catering to individual sizes and preferences. This design enables easy battery replacement without disassembling the headset. A custom USB-C camera was also created to enhance communication between guests and mission control attached to one side of the helmet. Mission control operators use this camera to watch a live feed of what guests complete in each activity and provide better communication and feedback during the experience.
Further improvements were commissioned for Forward Thinking Designs. Button shields were designed to prevent accidental access to certain buttons on the headset and confusion to other communication lines, ensuring uninterrupted interactions. A secondary headset design was created for experiences that don’t require a full helmet that still utilizes the custom shell.
Overall, these enhancements aim to provide a more engaging and immersive experience for guests participating in the Astronaut Training Experience attraction, using wireless headsets, custom-printed shells, and other design improvements.