MERRITT ISLAND, Florida – At Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Atlantis is moving down Kennedy Parkway, leaving behind the Vehicle Assembly Building. Atlantis began the 10-mile move to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at about 6:30 a.m. EDT. NASA and contractor shuttle employees carried a banner reading “We made history” as they followed Atlantis out of the Launch Complex 39 area.
The day-long move will bring Atlantis south across the space center, with a stop along the way for a NASA ceremony. The spacecraft then will travel to Space Florida’s Exploration Park for a viewing opportunity for visitor complex guests before departing for its new home. Watch the move live on NASA TV at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
Atlantis arrived at Kennedy in April 1985. The spacecraft traveled 125,935,769 miles during 33 spaceflights, including 12 missions to the International Space Station. Its final flight, STS-135, closed out the Space Shuttle Program era with a landing on July 21, 2011. Since then, engineers have been preparing Atlantis for public display as part of NASA’s transition and retirement processing of the space shuttle fleet.
A grand opening of Atlantis’ new home at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is planned for July 2013.
PHOTO CREDIT: NASA TV