CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – Atlantis has a new home and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex wants the public to see her digs. For a few more days guests can see OV-104 resting in her home.
The Visitor Complex will allow guests to tour the orbiter’s new facilities long before the $100 million structure is set to open. Atlantis’ new home is slated to open in summer of 2013. Before then, the facility and its charge have got quite a bit of work in front of them.
Atlantis will have to be lifted into the air, at a 45 degree angle. Her payload bay doors will be opened when she is on display so that guests can look at her as if she were on orbit. Elements from the orbiters 25-year career will surround her including the gaseous oxygen vent arm, mockups of astronauts as well as spacecraft that Atlantis launched during her storied career.
Guests have until Sunday, Nov. 11 to view the orbiter in her new surroundings. After that construction will move ahead and the orbiter will gradually be hoisted into position through a series of lifts.
For those who take the tour, they are guaranteed an experience that will be a once in a lifetime event. Visitors can go within about 10 feet of a spacecraft that flew some 33 times into space and helped to assemble the International Space Station. Atlantis flew the last flight of the space shuttle era, STS-135 in July of 2011.