NASA and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will host Atlantis – Celebrate the Journey will commemorate the move of space shuttle Atlantis from Kennedy to its final destination for permanent display at KSC’s Visitor Complex on Friday, Nov. 2. The event will highlight the past, present and future of space exploration while marking the successful completion of the Space Shuttle Program.
The move will begin at 7 a.m. when Atlantis leaves Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at about 2 miles per hour on the 106-foot-long Orbiter Transporter System. The orbiter will make its way to Kennedy Space Center headquarters where at about 9:45 a.m. thousands of current NASA employees and former shuttle workers are scheduled to attend a private event that will include a ceremony to mark the transfer of Atlantis to the visitor complex.
Atlantis will then head to Space Florida’s Exploration Park, a 65-acre area that will provide a festival setting for a half-day event where guests can see the shuttle up close and “in the round.” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana and the space shuttle astronauts from STS-135, the final shuttle and Atlantis mission, are also expected to attend.
In addition, Exploration Park will feature spaceflight and exploration exhibits provided by several space industry partners and NASA, including the Orion Crew Module, designed for deep space human exploration as the flagship of the nation’s next-generation space fleet.
The Exploration Park portion of the day is open to those purchasing the special Explorer Package, which includes regular Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex admission.
“The final trip of Atlantis will be the very last time anyone is going to see a space shuttle in motion or out in the open, making it a truly unique and momentous viewing opportunity,” said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, which operates the visitor complex for NASA.
“Atlantis is a spacecraft that has flown 33 missions into space, logging more than 125 million miles, and it was the last orbiter in space and the last to touch down at Kennedy Space Center. Seeing the orbiter up close will be an emotional experience,” Moore said.
Atlantis will then leave Exploration Park and complete the final leg of its journey, traveling in front of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex along State Road 405/NASA Parkway before entering its new home, a $100 million interactive exhibit complex currently under construction and set to open in July 2013.
After the approximate 6 p.m. arrival, a 10-minute fireworks show will illuminate the skies of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, providing the grand finale to an extraordinary day.
The goal of NASA Social is to allow people who regularly interact with each other via social networks to meet in person and discuss space exploration. NASA Social participants will have the opportunity for a special “hard hat tour” of the new Atlantis Exhibit building, witness the arrival of space shuttle Atlantis at Space Florida’s Exploration Park and see Atlantis on the final leg of its 10-mile journey entering the new orbiter home at the KSC Visitor Complex. See featured space flight hardware and other launch support vehicles from the past, present and future of space exploration and listen to presentations honoring the Space Shuttle Program. Tour NASA facilities at Kennedy Space Center to learn about NASA’s current and future programs. Experience a host of interactive activities and exhibits from NASA Centers around the country, and discover the latest exhibits at the KSC Visitor Complex.
CLC Advisors, LLC CEO Cindy Chin is proud to return back to NASA Social to close out NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.
“I have always been a huge fan of the Space Shuttle since I was a child in school. I used to sketch the schematics of the shuttle and learned about astronomy from my father, who is a physicist and former microchip designer. The timing couldn’t be better with the movements in science, technology, green business and energy, and in the interest to combine private sector business and public government sectors, a huge focus in social impact and innovation.
Being able to welcome Space Shuttle Endeavour OV-105 to California and launching her final flight from NASA Dryden was an amazing opportunity. This final leg with Space Shuttle Atlantis OV-104 at Kennedy Space Center is a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of history where true innovation, dreams, and new frontiers were mere ideas and then realized. The next stages have already begun and like nebulas, stars are born.” – Cindy Chin, CEO
Follow KSC Visitor Complex and NASA on Twitter (@ExploreSpaceKSC, @NASA, @NASAKennedy, @NASASocial), Facebook (NASA, NASA Kennedy, and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex) or Google+ (NASA and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex) and hashtags #NASASocial and #Atlantis.