Opening June 29 at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Space Shuttle Atlantis is the new $100 million home of the priceless, historic spacecraft that tells the incredible story of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program. The 90,000 square-foot Atlantis exhibit is the marquee element of the Visitor Complex’s 10-year master plan by Delaware North Parks & Resorts, which has operated Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA since 1995.
From only a few feet away, guests will be awed and inspired as they have an up-close, 360-degree view of Atlantis – the wear and tear of its 33 missions apparent on its protective external tiles. Guests will be able to view this national treasure from several different levels to fully experience its wonder.
The orbiter will be dramatically showcased as if it were in orbit in space – as only astronauts have had a chance to see it, departing from the International Space Station. Atlantis has been elevated 30 feet off the ground and rotated at a 43.21-degree angle, and its payload bay doors will be open and its Canadarm (robotic arm) extended.
Space Shuttle Atlantis will feature state-of-the-art multimedia presentations and more than 60 interactive exhibits and high-tech simulators that will bring to life the complex components and systems behind this incredible feat of engineering. One of the most complicated and sophisticated pieces of equipment ever built, the shuttle was a vehicle that launched like a rocket, flew in orbit like a spacecraft and landed on a runway like a glider.
The immersive experience will also shine a spotlight on the astounding achievements made over the course of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program, most notably, the building of the International Space Station and the launch and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Also celebrated are the thousands of people who took part in creating and maintaining NASA’s five space-flown shuttles – Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour – and how the shuttle program has paved the way for NASA’s next generation of manned spaceflight programs.