An exhibit that showcases the space shuttle Atlantis will open June 29 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, it was announced Thursday.
The new $100 million, 90,000-square-foot exhibit is home to the retired space shuttle, as well as an education center where guests will see Atlantis' payload doors open and its robotic arm extended.
The orbiter, which has been lifted off the ground and placed at a 43-degree angle to simulate its position in space when leaving the International Space Station, is the centerpiece of an exhibit that will include 60 interactive stations outlining the history of the space shuttle program.
And it's not all serious space stuff. The agency also promises an interactive game called Angry Birds Space Encounter that was created by the Kennedy Space Center and the game's creator, Rovio Entertainment. This kid-friendly element is scheduled to open this spring.
The 27-year-old Atlantis orbiter has been on more than 30 space missions and traveled more than 115 million miles in its lifespan. Atlantis was the first to dock with the Russian space station Mir and aided in the construction of the International Space Station. From Atlantis' payload bay, NASA deployed the Magellan and Galileo planetary probes, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory and other satellites. Atlantis also was the last shuttle to fly a servicing mission to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
Admission for the Kennedy Space Center Tour, which features an actual Saturn V moon rocket, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. is $50 for adult,$40 for children ages 3-11. For information, go to www.kennedyspacecenter.com.