Space Shuttle Atlantis Move Scheduled, Public Invited

space shuttle atlantis

Space Shuttle Atlantis will make one more trip in November. No engines will fire. No astronauts will be on board. No visit to the International Space Station will be made. Still, the last voyage of Atlantis will a memorable one and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSC) is inviting us along for the ride.

A series of events, open to the public, are centered around the 10 miles rolling trip from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to the Visitor Complex atop the Orbiter Transporter System (OTS). It all begins on Friday, November 2, 2012, with “Atlantis – Celebrate the Journey” events that will mark Atlantis’ last voyage.

A variety of packages include admission to KSC (a $50 value) and round-trip transportation to Exploration Park. There, visitors will enjoy astronaut appearances, interactive exhibits, displays of spaceflight hardware from past, current and future programs. Exhibitors scheduled to attend include Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation, SpaceX and XCOR Aerospace.

Atlantis Adventure Package: features the opportunity to view and photograph Atlantis in 360 degrees from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., an opportunity to see Atlantis travel along the roadway and enter the orbiter home from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and a KSC Up-Close: Launch Pad tour, which takes visitors a quarter-mile within the perimeter security fence of Launch Pad 39-A to enjoy close-up views of the 350-foot-high launch pad.
Cost: $115 adult/$105 child (ages 3-11) plus tax.

Explorer Package: features the opportunity to view and photograph Atlantis in 360 degrees from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and an opportunity to see Atlantis travel along the roadway and enter the orbiter home from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: $90 adult/$80 child (ages 3-11) plus tax.

Lift-off Package: features an opportunity to see Atlantis travel along the roadway and enter the orbiter home from 5 to 6 p.m. along with the KSC Up-Close: Launch Pad tour
Cost: $75 adult/$59 child (ages 3-11) plus tax.

Rollover Package: features special exhibits as well as the Kennedy Space Center Tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted, U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® and all exhibits during the day. Later, visitors get the opportunity to see Atlantis travel along the roadway and enter the orbiter home from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Cost: $50 adult/$40 child (ages 3-11) plus tax.

At the end of the day, Atlantis will arrive at her new $100 million permanent home, set to open in summer 2013. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or KennedySpaceCenter.com.



NASA photo

Space Center Adds Up-Close Tours

space center

While Kennedy Space Center will not be launching space shuttles anymore, the 39-acre complex in Florida has not shut down for lack of anything to do. In addition to ongoing space programs, travelers visiting the Space Coast of Florida have some new options with up-close tours, some that were never before possible in the 50 year history of the facility.

“You’re going to be close to where history has been made and will be made in the future with new programs currently under development for space exploration,” Bill Moore, chief operating officer of the center’s Visitor Complex, said in a Los Angeles Times story.

Kennedy Space Center has added new access to previously restricted areas, including Launch Complex 39 where space shuttles and six Apollo missions took off. Called “KSC Up-Close” a choice of three walking, guided tours bring a deeper look at specific aspects of Kennedy Space Center.
In June, Gadling featured the Launch Control Center (LCC) tour that gets visitors inside Firing Room 4, one of the LCC’s four firing rooms and the one from which all 21 shuttle launches since 2006 were controlled.

Other tours offered include the Vehicle Assembly Building tour, where visitors are granted access to the secure area, and the Launch Pad tour that goes nearly a quarter-mile within the perimeter security fence of Launch Pad 39-A.

All guided tours are $25 per adult and $19 per child (ages 3-11) plus tax and can be reserved online. Reservations, while not required, are suggested as tours sell out every day.

NASA Space Launch System


Flickr photo by mehul.antani