Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complextoday broke ground on a new attraction designed to touch the hearts and minds of the next generation of space explorers – Heroes and Legends, featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, scheduled to open in 2016.

Held on the eve of this year’s U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction, the groundbreaking ceremony featured a large gathering of astronauts, including many hall of fame members. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the hall of fame.

Participating in the groundbreaking ceremony were (shown in photo, right to left): Dan Brandenstein, chairman of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s board of directors and hall of fame astronaut; Bob Cabana, director of John F. Kennedy Space Center and hall of fame astronaut; Charlie Bolden, NASA administrator and hall of fame astronaut; Jim Houser, president of the parks and resorts business of Delaware North, which operates the Visitor Complex for NASA; Therrin Protze, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; and Cheryl Hurst, director, communication and public engagement for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

While many members of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame were there to represent NASA’s proud past, the present and future of the American space program also were represented by recipients of the Astronaut Scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation as well as students from Apollo Elementary School in Titusville, Fla.

“As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, and the groundbreaking for Heroes and Legends featuring the new U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, we not only celebrate NASA’s rich history but also look toward the future of space exploration,” said Charlie Bolden, NASA administrator. “This attraction promises to bridge the gap between the trailblazers of the past and those who will write the next chapter of space travel.”

Heroes and Legends not only will bring to life the enthralling stories of America’s pioneering astronauts, but also invite guests to vicariously experience the thrills and dangers of America’s earliest missions through high-tech elements and special effects, including simulated holograms and augmented reality. Inside the new U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, guests can use interactive features to learn about nearly 100 astronaut heroes.

The highlight of Heroes and Legends is a 3D omnidirectional theater, designed to make guests feel as though they are floating in the vastness of space. Stunning images will envelope them as legendary astronauts, including Alan ShepardJohn GlennJim Lovell andNeil Armstrong, invite them to join in their epic journeys into the vast unknown. 

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Space Shuttle AtlantisSM, Shuttle Launch Experience® and many other interactive exhibits. Only 45 minutes fromOrlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with 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