Blast Off on a Mission to Mars at Epcot’s Mission: SPACE

If you've ever dreamed of being an astronaut and blasting off into outer space, there's an attraction at Epcot that you can't miss. Of course we're talking about Mission: Space where you can be part of a cadet crew heading into deep space.

Mission: Space opened in 2003 and was built in the former location of Horizons, which closed in 1999. The ride is meant to simulate what it would feel like to train as an astronaut for the first manned mission to Mars on the X-2 Deep Space Shuttle.

The futuristic queue at Mission: SpaceThe futuristic queue at Mission: Space

When the attraction first opened there was just one "team" for riders, but after guest complaints about motion sickness and other side effects of the ride, the ride introduced two "training" levels in 2006: Orange and Green.

(It should be noted that two guests died after riding the attraction in 2005 and 2006 and while both had pre-existing health conditions, those events cause some people to avoid the ride completely).

The Orange Team is the most intense experience and you'll actually spin while on the ride, while the Green Team is less intense and there's no spinning involved. When choosing your training team it's best to take into consideration how much spinning you can handle and whether you get motion sick.

Choose your team: Orange or GreenChoose your team: Orange or Green

Before entering the queue you're asked whether you're on the Orange Team or the Green Team. You'll receive a launch ticket and then you enter the queue, which is built to look like the International Space Training Center and features a 35-foot tall gravity wheel just like the kind NASA uses to simulate deep space gravity. You'll also see a NASA Lunar Roving Vehicle on display which is one of only four in existence.

All guests at the attraction are "trainees" for theX-2 Deep Space Shuttle flight to Mars and you'll have a chance to watch a training video featuring actor Gary Sinise. Each space capsule will have a four person crew and you each have a role to play: navigator, pilot, commander, or engineer.

Inside the space capsules on Mission: SpaceInside the space capsules on Mission: Space

The space capsules are a bit claustrophobia-inducing too, so take that into consideration (along with the motion sickness aspect) when deciding whether or not to take part in Mission: Space.

Your mission to Mars aboard your space capsule will feature a liftoff sequence, a slingshot around the Moon, a simulated period of hypersleep, and the descent to land on Mars. Each member of the crew will have jobs to perform in their roles, and there are buttons and joysticks to use during the ride experience.

And if you're on Team Orange you'll get to experience the spinning and g-force fun, but if you're on Team Green you'll just get bounced around a bit.

NASA Lunar Roving VehicleNASA Lunar Roving Vehicle

After traveling to Mars and back to Earth, guests can visit the Mission: Space Advanced Training Lab and enjoy the interactive play area. Those who choose to avoid the mission to Mars can also wait for their (braver) friends and family members here.

You must be 44 inches tall in order to ride Mission: Space, and it's worth repeating again: if you're prone to motion sickness or claustrophobia, this is probably a ride you should skip.

Is Mission: Space a must-do or must-avoid attraction when you visit Epcot? Leave us a comment and let us know.

PJsLife wrote on Mon, 09/22/2014 - 16:14:

PJsLife's picture

I love this ride.

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 09/22/2014 - 23:14:

Kristen K.'s picture

I'm such a wimp on this ride, I have to ride with the green team.

Suzanne Alexander wrote on Tue, 09/23/2014 - 01:23:

Suzanne Alexander 's picture

I like the ride but I am on the Green Team!

JMed wrote on Tue, 09/23/2014 - 13:49:

JMed's picture

I'm actually a little nervous to try it.

BarbaraB wrote on Tue, 09/23/2014 - 18:21:

BarbaraB's picture

I actually find this ride very boring. I've done both the Orange and the Green teams. I do feel more G-force on the Orange team, but the ride is so completely enclosed I don't get any other sensations. I just sit there and watch the video screen and push a few buttons. Boring!

Marc wrote on Tue, 09/23/2014 - 19:10:

Marc's picture

I'd love to see this ride included as part of the backstage tours as I'm fascinated in how the ride works.

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