Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Had a couple questions about the rover on display at Epcot's Mission:Space attraction, so I contacted Tom Wilkes at Guard-Lee who set me right. When the attraction opened on October 9, 2003, the rover on display was an authentic artifact on loan from the Smithsonian (possibly a vibration test unit). This last January, it was swapped out for a model built by the Apopka, Florida firm Guard-Lee who has made spacecraft models/props from the full sized Explorer orbiter at KSC Visitor Complex to the capsules on HBO's 'From the Earth to the Moon' (which was filmed incidentally at the former Disney/MGM Studios). So the one at Epcot is a model owned by Disney to keep as long as they desire. Although it is a model, it is closer in appearance to the actual rovers used by Apollo astronauts on the moon.