Space Shuttle Atlantis, Enterprise, and Discovery Exhibits

Entrance to Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit

Entrance to Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit

NASA's Space Shuttle Fleet Sign

NASA’s Space Shuttle Fleet Sign

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Front View

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Front View

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Back View

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Back View

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Underside View

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Underside View

Full Scale Model of Hubble Space Telescope

Full Scale Model of Hubble Space Telescope

Real "Beanie Cap" that Topped Orange External Fuel Tank on Launch Pad

Real “Beanie Cap” that Topped Orange External Fuel Tank on Launch Pad

Fountain at Entrance to Kennedy Space Center

Fountain at Entrance to Kennedy Space Center

The new Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at Kennedy Space Center is awesome!  The multimillion dollar exhibit turns KSC into a must-see destination near Orlando, Florida.  At the exhibit’s entrance, visitors pass underneath a towering 186-foot-tall stack of twin rocket boosters and orange fuel tank.  Once inside, visitors experience a breathtaking unveiling of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.  The shuttle is displayed tilted on her side with the robotic arm extended as if she is flying in space.  Nearby is a replica of the Hubble Space Telescope (famously repaired by Atlantis in 2009).  Atlantis flew 33 missions and over 126 million miles.  Astronaut Rex Walheim called the shuttle “the most graceful, beautiful vehicle we’ve ever had to fly in space”.   The new 5-story building housing Atlantis is full of interactive displays and exhibits.  KSC is the best destination for space tourism in the country – it inspires both adults and children alike.  More info on KSC is at:  http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/   My previous post about Atlantis’ journey to her present location is at:    https://naturetime.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/florida-close-up-view-of-the-space-shuttle-atlantis/ 

UPDATE:  Since this post was initially written, we’ve seen two other NASA space shuttles on exhibit.  Space Shuttle Enterprise is on display at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York City.  When this space shuttle prototype debuted in 1976, a grass roots effort led by Star Trek fans led to its name “Enterprise”.  Enterprise never flew in space – it was used for initial gliding tests only.  Space Shuttle Discovery is on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Annex at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Discovery flew 39 missions – more than any other spacecraft in history.  Space shuttles Enterprise and Discovery met nose-to-nose during a museum transfer ceremony at Dulles Airport on April 19, 2012.  The ceremony celebrated the preservation and display of these great icons of America’s space program. 

Space Shuttle Enterprise

Space Shuttle Enterprise

Elevated Platform Allows Front-On View of Enterprise

Elevated Platform Allows Front-On View of Enterprise

Star Trek Fans Helped Name Enterprise

Star Trek Fans Helped Name Enterprise

Space Shuttle Discovery

Space Shuttle Discovery

About Pam
Richard and Pam lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 14 years (1987-1999 and 2008-2011). They lived in Florida 13 years previously, until returning in July 2011 to present. They hope their photography will encourage you to get out and discover nature's beauty in your own backyard, parks, and wild places. Click on any pictures on this blog to see them full size with additional details.

8 Responses to Space Shuttle Atlantis, Enterprise, and Discovery Exhibits

  1. elisaruland says:

    I would LOVE to see this exhibit someday. Your description and photographs are a compelling reason to go ASAP!

    • Pam says:

      Thank you so much! I would love people to see this exhibit. I don’t think I am overstating its impact – even the astronauts were wowed by it! It was designed by engineers from Disney and Universal Studios. A very detailed article about the exhibit is at: http://www.space.com/21710-shuttle-atlantis-exhibit-kennedy.html
      And stay tuned – I have a couple more posts about the exhibit. I am so excited about it that I have had a very hard time trimming the photos down to just a few. 🙂

      • elisaruland says:

        Disney and Universal is a very powerful creative duo, I can imagine the impact of seeing the exhibit in person. I’m looking forward to viewing more of your shots, Pam!

  2. mrsbearfoot says:

    Gosh, we haven’t been to Kennedy Space Center since the early 1980s. I guess we’re overdue for another visit! Your photos are wonderful!

    • Pam says:

      Thanks! The improvements over the past few years have been phenomenal. And there are several bus tours now in addition to the classic one.

  3. Kongo says:

    Another out of this world post, Pam!

  4. Thanks for the info Pam. I didn’t realize that this exhibit had opened. We haven’t been to KSC in years, and on our next trip to Clearwater, we may have to check it out. ~James

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