Kennedy Space Center has been busy lately! The Space Shuttle Atlantis is unwrapped! The crews at Kennedy Space Center started unwrapping the 80 ton, 122 foot long Space Shuttle Orbiter this week and are preparing for the $100 million exhibit to be open June 29th.
The shuttle had been wrapped up since being moved November 2, 2013, to avoid any damage to it while the construction for its new home was underway. The 90,000-square-foot resting place will provide visitors a unique vantage point to study the massive shuttle while learning about the 30 year space program.
Atlantis’s new home is a six-story facility that is located in the Shuttle Plaza next to the existing Shuttle Launch Experience. At the entrance to the Atlantis exhibit, guests walk underneath a full-size replica space shuttle external tank flanked by two solid rocket boosters.
This new facility is designed by PGAV Destinations; an architect headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., and is being built by Whiting-Turner Contracting Company in Orlando, Florida. The outer layer of the building includes orange and gold “wings,” representing the space shuttle’s reentry to Earth.
Atlantis has been on 33 missions, and has more than a few scrapes and dents, but KSC workers are excited for the chance to inspect, and clean her up so she will be in good shape to impress the crowds that Kennedy Space Center are hoping to draw.
The enormous shuttle will eventually be suspended 30 feet in mid air at a 45 degree angle so that the visual exploration will be outstanding. They are faced with a final challenge when they attempt to open the payload doors that are only meant to be opened in micro-gravity.
The OTC Genius gives this a 5 STAR RATING, because Atlantis has been past the stars, and now has finally come home for good!
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