CAPE CANAVERAL — Destination Space and the countdown is almost over and Florida will finally get to see space shuttle Atlantis on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.
The orbiter goes on public display Saturday, the last shuttle to do so, after the three other orbiters were transported across the country.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, which invested $100 million in the facility, is hoping Atlantis brings a million people a year.
After 33 missions to space, Atlantis was moved from the Vehicle Assembly Building to its new home in November. Since then, a lot of work has been done.
The display makes it look like Atlantis is soaring again in space. The 150,000-pound orbiter is 30 feet off the ground, rotated at a precise angle to give visitors an up close view.
The shuttle’s payload bay doors are open and a full scale model of the Hubble Space Telescope is grabbed by the shuttle’s robotic arm.
There are also 60 interactive exhibits and simulators.
Atlantis was the final shuttle in space so this really is the end of an era for NASA.
The agency’s chief, Charlie Bolden will at the visitor’s complex on Saturday to kick off Atlantis’ final mission.
He’s also going to look ahead to the future of manned spaceflight, on commercial rockets and the Orion capsule.
The grand opening is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday.