Disney World's take-off on space

ORLANDO -- This fall, Walt Disney World held the grand opening of Epcot's newest attraction, Mission: Space.

Designed with guidance from former NASA advisors, astronauts and scientists, the ride simulates the experience of an astronaut on a mission to Mars several decades in the future.

Disney calls it the most technologically advanced attraction the company has ever created.

Participants play the role of crew members of a space mission in 2036. The capsule whirls around, creating centrifugal force that feels like the G-force experienced by astronauts during liftoff.

Passengers use interactive joysticks to pilot the vessel in a virtual-reality ride into space.

Once entering space, passengers experience the sensation of weightlessness. The spacecraft then makes a "slingshot" maneuver around the moon and hurtles toward Mars, where passengers view the planet's surface, an image created from data from the NASA mission of the Mars Odyssey spacecraft.

For more information, call (407) 824-4321 or log onto www.disneyworld.com.

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