For those of us who grew up with the space age it is bittersweet to see the end of the era with the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet. Already the Endeavour has reached its final home and in just two weeks the Space Shuttle Atlantis will move to its permanent resting place at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
The space shuttle will make a 10-mile rolling journey from the Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building to the Visitor Complex while sitting atop the Orbiter Transporter System. The Space Center is currently constructing a new $100-million permanent home for the orbiter. It is set to open in the summer of 2013.
The Space Center has a couple of different packages available for anyone from the public that wants to join in the day long event titled “Atlantis – Celebrate the Journey”. The more expensive package provides access and roundtrip transportation to Exploration Park and the opportunity to view and photograph Atlantis in 360 degrees from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m as well as an opportunity to see Atlantis travel along the roadway and enter the orbiter home from 5 p.m. to 6 p. Less expensive packages have more limited photo opportunities but still allow visitors to see the Atlantis travel along the roadway.
Additional activities at Exploration Park will include Space Shuttle Program astronaut appearances, interactive exhibits, displays of spaceflight hardware from past, current and future programs. The Visitor Complex will host an Astronaut Autograph and Memorabilia Show benefitting the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation with more than 40 astronauts and special guests in attendance.
For more information check out the Kennedy Space Center “Atlantis-Celebrate the Journey” web page. Tickets purchase orders are taken via 1-866-737-5235.
If your family travels will take you to the Florida Coast in early November, tickets to “Atlantis-Celebrate the Journey” might make a perfect early Christmas gift for the space enthusiast in your family.
Photo courtesy of the Kennedy Space Center