During the morning ceremony, a ten-foot long silhouette of an X-15 rocket plane was raised to the top of the building. The X-15, which was manufactured by a legacy Boeing company, North American Aviation, flew for nearly a decade, achieving hypersonic speeds and exploring the upper edge of the Earth’s atmosphere. Its technology contributed to the development of the historic Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs. A permanent replica is being designed and will appear to be launching toward space from the top of the building as a visual icon representing Boeing’s contributions to the past, present and future of human spaceflight.
“Florida’s Space Coast is the hallowed ground of all human launches from American soil. There are so many firsts here and we’re pleased to be the first corporate sponsor of a major attraction at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex,” said John Elbon, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space Exploration. “As Boeing celebrates its 100th year, it’s appropriate that we join the visitor complex and NASA to share the exciting journey ahead of human spaceflight with visitors from around the world.”
Slated to open on November 11, 2016, and positioned just inside the entrance of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Heroes & Legends will set the stage for the guest experience by providing the emotional background and context for space exploration and the legendary men and women who pioneered and continue our journey into space. Through engaging storytelling, guests will embark on an awe-inspiring experience that begins with an immersive exhibit designed to spark thought and discussion about how society defines a hero. Then, through cutting-edge technology, interactive elements and engaging exhibits, guests will be introduced to the heroes of space.