Shuttle Atlantis exhibit opens at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex



CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The new exhibit that offers an up close look at space shuttle Atlantis officially opened at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Saturday.

The $100 million attraction features space shuttle Atlantis suspended 30 feet in the air and rotated at an angle as if it were orbiting Earth. Additionally, the exhibit has multimedia presentations and high-tech simulators that will educate visitors about the space shuttle program.

Dozens of high ranking NASA and Kennedy Space Center officials, as well as astronauts who flew on Atlantis, were in attendance for the attraction's grand opening event Saturday morning.

"I had a little tear form in the corner of my eye. I think it's a testament to this community and KSC trying to help get this Space Coast back, looking at the beauty and benefits of the past," astronaut Leland Melvin said.

Officials broke ground on the 90,000 square foot exhibit back in January of 2012. The attraction is the largest enhancement to the Visitor's Complex ever.

Moving the shuttle from the vehicle assembly building to the visitor complex wasn't easy. Crews had to take down 120 street lights, 23 traffic lights and 56 street signs for the shuttle's 10-mile journey.

The Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit is included in a general admission ticket to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.