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Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Heroes and Legends exhibit opens at KSC Visitor Complex

Attendees welcome the opening of the Heroes and Legends exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Friday, Nov. 11. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

Attendees welcome the opening of the Heroes and Legends exhibit on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — With more than 50 years since the dawn of the Space Age, a new exhibit is poised to open its doors this weekend honoring the men and women who have (literally) blazed a trail. The word astronaut dreams up images of powerful individuals who venture into the unknown black of space. The new exhibit provides a stunning venue honoring those who have made the journey to orbit.

NASA Heroes and Legends exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex photo credit Carleton Bailie / SpaceFlight Insider

Many of the exhibits were moved from the “old” Astronaut Hall of Fame that resided down the road from the Visitor Complex. Photo Credit: Carleton Bailie / SpaceFlight Insider

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opened its new ‘Heroes and Legends’ facility on Friday, Nov. 11. The event was attended by more than 25 U.S. astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell.

Aldrin and Lovell also marked the 50th anniversary of their Gemini 12 mission, which launched on Nov. 11, 1966.

According to a report appearing on the Orlando Sentinel, this event was stocked full of those whose names grace the halls within.

“The new Heroes and Legends exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center amplifies the visitors’ experience and tells the story of human exploration as well as those who made it possible,” said Brian Duffy, a four-time space shuttle astronaut and SpaceFlight Insider Technical Consultant who attended the event. When asked what he thought, Duffy unequivocally said, “…It’s a terrific addition to what the Visitor Complex already offers!”

Other astronauts on hand include Brian Duffy, Kathryn Thornton, Charlie Duke, Al Worden, Fred Gregory, Rhea Seddon, Karol “Bo” Bobko, Jerry Ross, Bob Cabana (who serves as Kennedy Space Center’s current center director), Curt Brown, Dan Brandenstein, Vance Brand, Kent Rominger, and numerous others. They came together to mark the unveiling of the 20,000-square-foot facility that sits across from the visitor complex’s Rocket Garden.

“The new Hall of Fame is spectacular and a great addition to the Kennedy Space Center Visitors complex,” Al Worden, the Command Module Pilot on Apollo 15 told SpaceFlight Insider. “It will stand with the Saturn V Center and the Atlantis display as examples of what a nation can do when challenged. Absolutely worth the trip to see our heroes and legends on display.”

This week’s events, sponsored by Boeing, were held in conjunction with Space Rendezvous 2016. This means those who come to see this new exhibit open also had the opportunity to attend this year’s Astronaut Autograph & Memorabilia Show.

This weekend will be a “target rich” environment with breakout sessions held with an array of industry insiders, including International Space Station Flight Controller Ryan East (himself an Astronaut Scholar), NASA Senior Advisor for Commercial Space Charles Miller, and artist Chris Calle presenting. However, this part of this weekend’s events wasn’t held at the visitor complex but at the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront.

The exhibit was constructed by BRPH – an international architecture and engineering firm which repurposed a portion of the “Early Exploration” building already at the visitor complex.

“BRPH has a long history of involvement with exhibits at the Visitor Center, including Forever Remembered, the Rocket Garden, Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Shuttle Launch Simulator, to name a few,” said BRPH Senior Project Manager, Nick Gigante via a release. “We are humbled to one again be involved in a historic exhibit, honoring those who risked their life to make the world a better place.”

Want to see more from this event? Check out SpaceFlight Insider’s exclusive gallery here: Heroes and Legends

Video courtesy Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

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Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

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