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Just in time for the Fourth of July, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex today celebrated the grand opening of the new “Great Balls of Fire” interactive exhibit, which provides guests with an in-depth and hands-on experience as they learn about asteroids, comets and meteorites. As part of the grand opening, former astronaut, Dr. Tom Jones discussed how NASA research allows us to better defend Earth against the impact of asteroids.
Great Balls of Fire allows Visitor Complex guests to discover the risks that these space projectiles present to our planet and explores how we keep track of near-Earth objects while examining the effects of possible impacts.
Dr. Tom Jones, four-time space shuttle astronaut, was the guest of honor at the grand opening. As a senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Jones addressed the future direction of human space exploration, uses of asteroid and space resources and defending Earth from asteroid impacts.
Within the Great Balls of Fire exhibit is Asteroid Encounter, where guests can climb aboard a “spaceship” and blast off to the asteroid belt and Jupiter while compiling data about asteroids and comets. Guests also can explore what would happen if one of these celestial bodies were to hit their hometown, determine Science Fact or Science Fiction of Hollywood movie clips, build their own solar system and much more.

“Great Balls of Fire is an interactive exhibit that educates guests on the risks and benefits of asteroids and comets,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “We’ve never had anything like this at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and it’s a great way to create an entertaining and fun learning environment for children and adults.”
Great Balls of Fire is scheduled to run until January 4, 2015. 
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 Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the Angry Birds Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. The new $100 million home for Space Shuttle AtlantisSM opened June 29, 2013. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, 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. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander's Club Annual Pass is $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11.  For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.


Andrea Farmer
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Email: afarmer@delawarenorth.com
Phone: 321-449-4318
Nancy Glasgow, 407-375-2433, nancy@bitner.com
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