Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Unveils Name, Logo and Opening Date for New $100 Million Home for Space Shuttle Atlantis.
NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex marked yet another major milestone today in the construction of its 90,000-square-foot, $100 million home for space shuttle Atlantis by announcing the official name and visual identity for the exhibit, as well as the grand opening date of June 29, 2013.
The exhibit not only will showcase Atlantis as if it were in space raised 30 feet off the ground and rotated 43 degrees but also will tell the compelling story of the entire shuttle program, including the thousands of people behind this incredible feat of engineering, its key role in the development of the International Space Station and the launch and repair of the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as how it paved the way for today's new space programs and the future of space exploration. More than 60 interactive, immersive exhibits and simulators will provide guests a never-before-experienced perspective on the shuttles complex systems, components and capabilities. Although the multimillion-dollar interactive exhibit encompasses much, much more than the display of Atlantis, there is no denying, she is truly the star of the show, said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. We know that this majestic beauty, which safely ferried men and women to space and back on 33 successful missions, is the real reason that our guests will travel thousands of miles, across oceans and across continents to visit Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to see her in all her glory. There are no words to accurately describe the emotions and insights guests will gain when this attraction opens this summer, for there has truly never been anything like it before. Therefore, we decided to be true to the heart and soul of the exhibit and name it simply and reverently, Space Shuttle Atlantis, Moore said. Next month marks another milestone in the exhibits construction with the beginning of the installation of a full-scale external tank and two solid rocket boosters at the entry to Space Shuttle Atlantis. These components of the space shuttle stack will serve as a grand gateway, with guests walking beneath the massive orange external tank, which will be suspended 24 feet above the ground, mounted between the two solid rocket boosters and reaching 185 feet 11/16 inches tall into the air. Installation of the entryway structure will be completed in June. Construction continues on schedule inside the exhibit as well. In May, Atlantis will be unwrapped from the shrink wrap that was applied in November 2012 to protect it from construction dust and debris. The payload bay doors will be opened and a full-scale model of the Hubble Space Telescope. This view, with Atlantis rotated 43 degrees, showcases the shuttle on an angle as if it were in space, as only the astronauts from its 33 missions have had a chance to see from the International Space Station. Atlantis Canadarm (robotic arm) also will be extended. In the meantime, other exciting events are taking shape at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, including: Angry Birds Space Encounter: The Angry Birds Space Encounter, set to open at the Visitor Complex in the spring, will be the first comprehensive, interactive Angry Birds attraction in the United States designed for people of all ages. KSC Up-Close Tours Extended: Rare behind-the-scenes access to areas of Kennedy Space Center that have been off limits to the public for decades. The KSC Up-Close Tour Series includes tours of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), Launch Control Center (LCC), and Launch Pad. The VAB tour has been extended through 2013, and the LCC and Launch Pad tours are confirmed through June 30. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Curt Brown, Eileen Collins and Bonnie Dunbar, Ph.D., join an elite group of American space heroes as they are inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on April 20, during a ceremony at the Visitor Complex. This induction is the 12th group of space shuttle astronauts named to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame and the first time two women will be inducted at the same time. 2013 Scheduled Rocket Launches: An ambitious program of 12 planned launches continues from the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.More than a dozen launches are scheduled in 2013. For more information on Kennedy Space Center Complex, visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.