Atlantis, The Last Shuttle To Retire, Finds Home In New Museum - New York News

Atlantis, The Last Shuttle To Retire, Finds Home In New Museum

Posted: Updated:

It was the last space shuttle to orbit the earth. Now the Atlantis' final journey is complete. The shuttle just made its big museum debut at the Kennedy Space Center, and crowds are excited.

The huge new building is wrapped in a vapor trail. At the entrance, full-scale replicas of the shuttle's external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters stand 184 feet tall.

"Welcome folks to the new home of Atlantis. You're going to go right up the ramp to the preshow theatre," says a greeter.

The exhibit starts with a new film on the beginnings of the shuttle.

"It's not a rocket, it's a shuttle," says the voiceover.

The experience moves quickly just a few steps from where Atlantis is revealed. Seemingly floating in space, you can then look at Atlantis from all angles. Atlantis was the fifth of six shuttles, built in 1985.

"We really wanted to have it so it looked like you were looking out the window of the International Space Station and give you the view and astronaut might see as she pulled away," says Tim Macy, the Director.

The private company that operates the Space Center Visitor's Complex spent $100 million on the Atlantis attraction. They had a mission to capture the "video game generation."

"We're gonna sneak up on them," says Macy. "You know there are sixty interactive exhibits here along with Atlantis that are on display."

Already, he's winning over a tough crowd.

"And I heard a couple of minutes ago, and I didn't make this up. He said I didn't know space was so cool; ten years old. I said, ‘ok, I can go home now.'"

Another important audience is the thousands who built and flew the shuttles over 30 years. Can it pass their test?

"This is truly incredible. People get to see her like we've never seen her before except in space," says Jim Reilly, a former astronaut for NASA who's logged over 853 hours in space.

Former astronaut J.R. Reilly flew two missions aboard Atlantis and performed five spacewalks from shuttles.

"The thing that I can imagine that I'm sure will happen is that people will get an appreciation of what this vehicle did," says Reilly.

The Atlantis Shuttle Program launched The Hubble Telescope and built the International Space Station. And now you can get a close look from every angle at even the scars it still carries from those millions of miles. The final landing of Atlantis was July 2011.

Of all the retired shuttles, Atlantis made the shortest journey, just 9.8 miles to the visitor's complex, a short distance. With the space program largely out of the spotlight, just how many people come to see Atlantis may be the shuttle's final test. It's the icon that opened the door to almost regular service between earth and space.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Search for woman who tried to snatch baby in stroller

    NYPD: Woman tried to snatch baby in stroller

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:45 AM EDT2014-04-18 10:45:16 GMT
    Police want to question a woman who tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. The incident occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 4 p.m. on Thursday. The 8-month-old baby was not harmed. People who were in the area jumped in to stop the woman before she took off southbound on 8th Ave., according to police. A sketch was released on Friday of the suspect.
    Police want to question a woman who tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. The incident occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 4 p.m. on Thursday. The 8-month-old baby was not harmed. People who were in the area jumped in to stop the woman before she took off southbound on 8th Ave., according to police. A sketch was released on Friday of the suspect.
  • Manhattan restaurant proactive on food allergens

    Manhattan restaurant proactive on food allergens

    Thursday, April 17 2014 10:48 PM EDT2014-04-18 02:48:47 GMT
    From the St. Louis spare to a rack of beef, ribs are the specialty for Chef Eddie Montalvo at Blue Smoke Restaurant in the Flat Iron District of Manhattan. While the ribs are smoked for flavor, they are cooked gluten- and nut-free. The restaurant pays special attention to food allergies. Sloan Miller, president of Allergic Girl Resources, says 15 million Americans have a diagnosed food allergy. Eight foods typically set off reactions: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, dairy, egg, an...
    From the St. Louis spare to a rack of beef, ribs are the specialty for Chef Eddie Montalvo at Blue Smoke Restaurant in the Flat Iron District of Manhattan. While the ribs are smoked for flavor, they are cooked gluten- and nut-free. The restaurant pays special attention to food allergies. Sloan Miller, president of Allergic Girl Resources, says 15 million Americans have a diagnosed food allergy. Eight foods typically set off reactions: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, dairy, egg, an...
  • Wineries flourish in Brooklyn

    Wineries flourish in Brooklyn

    Thursday, April 17 2014 10:34 PM EDT2014-04-18 02:34:04 GMT
    Hundreds of oak barrels of wine are all stacked in one room. You might think this is Napa, California. But it's not. It's the Brooklyn Winery, located in what was once an old pickle factory in Williamsburg. Refrigerated grapes are brought in from the North Fork of Long Island and from the Finger Lakes and then aged in barrels. These days urban wineries are becoming more popular, and they're popping up all over the borough.
    Hundreds of oak barrels of wine are all stacked in one room. You might think this is Napa, California. But it's not. It's the Brooklyn Winery, located in what was once an old pickle factory in Williamsburg. Refrigerated grapes are brought in from the North Fork of Long Island and from the Finger Lakes and then aged in barrels. These days urban wineries are becoming more popular, and they're popping up all over the borough.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices