|Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett|
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida -- The Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Merritt Island is quickly nearing the completion of its countdown to opening as workers topped off the second solid rocket booster model Monday.
The one-of-a-kind attraction is to open June 29 and will feature the spacecraft that flew the last mission of the shuttle era in July 2011.
Standing at 149 feet each, the life-size twin booster models will support a replica external fuel tank whose metal skeleton also is taking shape. When completed, the stack will be a space-age archway people will walk through on the way to the Atlantis exhibit.
The boosters reach about 33 feet higher than the tallest point of the Atlantis building, but the external tank will take that about 35 feet higher when finished, reaching 184 feet. It will be the only vertical shuttle stack anywhere when finished.
|Image credit: NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis|
Inside the 90,000-square-foot building will be the main attraction: Atlantis standing on pedestals and tilted to one side with cargo bay doors open and robotic arm extended.