July 8, 2011 marked the final space shuttle launch in NASA's history with the launch of Shuttle Atlantis (see below for a video of the launch). Today, Atlantis is being readied for its new mission at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Merritt Island, just west of Cape Canaveral. The new exhibit, called Space Shuttle Atlantis, will open June 29, 2013. It will offer those who visit the Space Coast the chance to get up close to a piece of American history.
Located in the Shuttle Plaza next to the existing Shuttle Launch Experience at the visitor center, the six-story facility will offer visitors a one-of-a-kind experience from the moment they step inside ... They will walk beneath a full-size replica space shuttle external tank flanked by two solid rocket boosters as they enter the facility.
Now raised 30 feet off the ground in the new 90,000-square-foot facility, Atlantis is angled as though it were still flying in space. The bay doors will be opened at the exhibit and its 50-foot robotic arm will be extended as well. From 1985 to 2011, Atlantis flew 33 missions and traveled almost 130 million miles. The enormous shuttle is 122 feet long, nearly 57 feet tall and has a 78-foot wingspan. (Source: Florida Today)
While waiting for its June opening, you can check out the progress of Space Shuttle Atlantis on Kennedy Space Center's website.
In addition to the Atlantis exhibit, there will be replicas of the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station, simulators, and hands-on exhibits which will chronicle NASA's 30-year history of shuttle operations. This will be yet another great experience for those who visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The Visitor Complex currently offers tours, IMAX films, Astronaut Encounters, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, Children's Play Dome, the Astronaut Memorial and more. Check out their website for a complete list of attractions, and information on how you can even have lunch with an astronaut.
Contact us if you plan on visiting the Space Coast and would like more information on Brevard and all of its attractions.