Inspiring the next generation of space explorers and scientists at Kennedy Space
Centre visitor complex, one of America’s most-loved visitor attractions, thousands
of visitors were taken on a first of its kind, high-tech journey into space for Spirit of
Exploration held during the Holidays in Space festive season from December 2015
through January 2016.
Originally commissioned by NASA for the Apollo program, the 223-foot long Saturn
1B rocket located in the open air Rocket Garden was transformed for the very first
time into a giant projection surface comprising a 6,528 by 1,050-pixel image that
used 80,000 lumens of projected light. Visuals were accompanied by a dramatic
musical score, actual launch audio, and other sound effects, in conjunction with a
“Rocket Garden light show’ that uses moveable lights to illuminate rockets
throughout the Rocket Garden, complete the immersive sensory experience.
The presentation, back for its second year, took guests on a journey through NASA’s
history and plans for the future. It used custom animation blended with historic
footage of actual launches and awe-inspiring views of Earth to create a completely
unique outdoor cinematic experience, complete with stadium-style seating.
To create the spectacular, Delaware North, operators of Kennedy Space Center
Visitor Complex, for NASA turned to long-term partner and integration experts AV
Matters to perform projection mapping, lighting, and sound.
“The unique challenges for this project were the length and curvature of the rocket
and to ensure that the striking visuals could be seen from all angles of the festive
display,’ explained Phil Maingot, managing director at AV Matters.
“We’ve used AV Stumpfl technology for a number of years and for Spirit of
Exploration we used the inherent programmability of Wings Engine Stage to ensure
that images from 8 projectors were managed as well as show content and control of
over 80 gobo lights for the show. Wings Engine Stage performed flawlessly
throughout the duration of the event.’
Set up took minutes thanks to AV Stumpfl Wings Vioso RX which acted to calibrate,
blend and warp the projected image from 8 20K lumens projectors on to the rocket
Multimedia producers Ninjaneer Studios created custom animation and awe-
inspiring views of Earth from the International Space Station and real NASA
footage. These were accompanied with incredible sound effects and music.
“We love projects that push our technologies to new limits and the Spirit of
Exploration did just that,’ says Kevin Zevchik, US manager at AV Stumpfl Inc.
“The result was a spectacular audiovisual experience that tells the thrilling story of
the future of exploration inspiring each individual visitor. We’re proud to help bring
this project to fruition in such a satisfyingly technical and creative way.’