Space Shuttle Atlantis opens to public

Anticipated opening of shuttle finally arrives

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. - Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's new Space Shuttle AtlantisSM attraction opened to the public Saturdya morning.

Officials kicked off the ceremonies around 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning to welcome the historic landmark's grand opening for all to see.

Officials said this is a one-of-a kind, $100 million educational attraction that features a 360-degree, multi-level view of Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Atlantis was raised 30 feet off the ground and rotated at an angle with payload bay doors open, as if orbiting Earth.

Officials said Space Shuttle Atlantis features state-of-the-art multimedia presentations and more than 60 interactive exhibits and high-tech simulators while shining a spotlight on the astounding achievements made during the shuttle program.

Some of those programs include the building of the International Space Station and the launch and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope, officials said.

For the very first time, the public will be able to get nose to nose with what many consider to be the most complex machine ever built by mankind - almost close enough to touch it.

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