Asteroid entering the atmosphere

An exciting new exhibit opened at the new Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex last week. “Great Balls of Fire” is an asteroid encounter that will test, surprise, entertain and possibly answer many of your questions. It will definitely educate theme park guests on the risks (and benefits) of asteroids and comets.

The new exhibit is approximately 1,500 square feet which contains many interactive features. You will learn how scientists determine the path of a near-Earth object. You can examine rocks to determine which one is a meteorite. Guests can also find out some interesting facts of what might happen if an asteroid hit their home town. With plenty of hands-on activities, all ages will enjoy this exhibit. 

An entertaining session includes a Science Fact or Science Fiction where you can view clips from movies and television shows that feature astroids and comets.  You’ll be asked to  answer whether the science is right or wrong. You’ll be able to compare your answers to those of scientists and other visitors at the KSC Visitor Complex.

Another fun thing to do is to build your own solar system and examine rocks which you can test for magnetism, color and density/relative weight. Can you determine which one is a meteorite?

Another fun and educational activity allows you to enter your zip code into a computer, pick a size of asteroid or comet, and see what the impact might be to your home town. Another educational aspect of this new exhibit, especially for children, deals with dinosaurs. You’ll be able to view a display explaining why many scientists think the extinction of dinosaurs could be related to an impact by a celestial body.

Every feature of the exhibit is included with regular admission. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: If you attend this Central Florida theme park on a date in which a launch is scheduled, you may receive extended hours. For example, this Monday, July 14, the Visitor Complex will open early at 7:30 a.m. to accommodate launch viewing. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to lift off from Launch Pad 40 at 9:21 a.m. The Visitor Complex will remain open until 7:00 p.m. Live commentary will be made and the viewing areas are included in daily admission. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Arrive before 8:30 a.m. and take the transportation offered to the Apollo/Saturn V Center for the best launch viewing.

Great Balls of Fire is scheduled to run until January 4, 2015. It is a production of The Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning. The national traveling exhibition receives funding from NASA and the National Science Foundation.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is only 45 minutes from Orlando, and opens daily at 9 a.m. Closing times varying by season.  Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit