Business

Atlantis to Launch as NASA Tourist Attraction in Late June

By: Jim Turner | Posted: February 23, 2013 3:55 AM

As the Space Coast waits for the next generation in manned space vehicles to give a boost to the economy, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has set a launch date -- June 29 -- for the new $100 million Visitor Complex home for space shuttle Atlantis.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Logo
The mission of the 90,000-square-foot interactive complex -- simply called space shuttle Atlantis -- is to tell the story of the shuttle program, from the engineering crews to repair of the Hubble space telescope and development of the International Space Station.

The centerpiece is Atlantis, which will be raised 30 feet off the ground, rotated 43 degrees, to give visitors an “as if it were in space” view of the craft that performed 33 successful missions.

“With the addition of space shuttle Atlantis to the world-class Visitor Complex, visitors can now experience a space shuttle in 'flight' -- which is truly an engineering marvel,” Rick Abramson, who was president and chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and is now president of Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts, stated in a release.

The attraction is being put together as a partnership between Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, NASA and St. Louis-based PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the attractions industry including SeaWorld Parks, Ameristar Casinos and Universal Studios,

Space Shuttle Atlantis
Next month, a full-scale external tank and two solid rocket boosters will be installed to serve as the gateway to the exhibit that will cost $50 per adult -- $40 for kids ages 3-11.

In May, Atlantis will be unwrapped from the shrink wrap that was applied in November 2012 to protect it from construction dust and debris.

 

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.


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