Monday, January 16, 2012

Two retired NASA Space Shuttles closer to exhibition

by Joe Kleiman, IPM Online News Editor

Atlantis in Orbiter Processing Facility (NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis)
Cape Canaveral, FL, USA (January 16, 2012) -- This week marks two significant events that will bring the space shuttle orbiters closer to public exhibition.

On Wednesday, groundbreaking will take place for the new shuttle exhibition building, the largest single project in the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center's history.  At a cost of more than $100 million, the 65,000 square foot facility will showcase the space shuttle Atlantis as if floating in space. The new exhibits are designed to seamlessly integrate with the existing Shuttle Launch Experience simulator attraction designed by BRC Imagination Arts. The new building is scheduled to open in 2013.

On Friday, Atlantis will be moved from the shuttle processing hangar to KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building. The interior of the VAB has, on a limited basis, been included with recent KSC tours. However, that might change with Atlantis' move into the facility. The relocation allows the Shuttle Endeavor to be placed inside the processing facilty for the transition to becoming a non-operable vehicle. Endeavor is scheduled to go on exhibit at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, CA. The third remaining shuttle, Discovery, is slated to go on public display at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum, Chantilly, VA.