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  6/29: Space Shuttle Atlantis Grand Opening (KSC)

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Author Topic:   6/29: Space Shuttle Atlantis Grand Opening (KSC)
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-23-2013 02:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex announcement
Space Shuttle Atlantis to Celebrate Grand Opening at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex June 29

The world's most comprehensive attraction devoted to the space shuttle opens Saturday, June 29 at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Space Shuttle Atlantis is the new, 90,000-square-foot, $100 million home of the priceless, historic spacecraft that tells the incredible story of NASA's 30-year Space Shuttle Program. The Visitor Complex will open at 9 a.m. and grand opening events will take place throughout the day.

More than 30 Atlantis astronauts will participate in the grand opening of Space Shuttle Atlantis, which will offer guests the public's first access to the attraction. From only a few feet away, guests will be awed and inspired with an up-close, 360-degree view of Atlantis. The shuttle is dramatically showcased as if it were in orbit — as only astronauts have had a chance to see it. Atlantis is elevated 30 feet off the ground and rotated at a 43.21-degree angle with its payload bay doors open and Canadarm (robotic arm) extended.

Space Shuttle Atlantis features more than 60 interactive, touch-screen experiences and high-tech simulators inviting guests to "be the astronaut," bringing to life the people, passion and patriotism behind the Space Shuttle Program as well as the complexity of the engineering marvel that launched the Hubble Space Telescope and built the International Space Station.

Space Shuttle Atlantis grand opening festivities are included in regular Visitor Complex admission: $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-23-2013 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Additional details will be forthcoming, but what is known now about the Space Shuttle Atlantis opening:
  • An evening celebration will be held on June 28. NASA TV will provide live coverage.

  • The opening ceremonies on June 29 will begin at 9:30 a.m. EDT. NASA TV will provide live coverage.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-23-2013 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let the speculating begin as to who will be there! My list includes:
  • Bo Bobko, STS-51-J
  • Charlie Bolden, STS-45
  • Sandy Magnus, STS-135
  • Chris Ferguson, STS-135
  • Doug Hurley, STS-135
  • Rex Walheim, STS-135
  • Janet Kavandi, STS-104
  • Eileen Collins, STS-84
  • Steve Lindsey, STS-104
  • Jerry Ross, five time Atlantis flyer
  • Bryan O'Connor, STS-61-B
  • Charlie Walker, STS-61-B
  • Hoot Gibson, STS-27R
  • Garrett Reisman, STS-132
  • Steve Bowen, STS-132

onesmallstep
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Posts: 508
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 05-24-2013 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great that the majority of the astronauts on Hart's wish list for Atlantis' opening were there at Discovery's last year and I met them. Even though I won't be there (will travel down to Fla. for Space Week July 16-20), I am getting my memory cards ready.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-24-2013 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed, my wish list is based on the fact that many of them appeared at Welcome Discovery. If they were able to appear at one (and on the same coast), maybe they'll appear at the other.

I should have done this before, but add Jim Reilly to the list (STS-104, 117.) He should already be there as he's scheduled to be the one giving the Astronaut Encounter talk. Perhaps also Mike Mullane, as he's the next Astronaut Encounter (starting July 1.)

And even though he hasn't flown Atlantis, count on Bob Cabana making an appearance.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 06-09-2013 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a partial list for June 29 from the sponsorship package for the invite-only June 28 celebration:
  • 40-plus astronauts representing Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle missions will be actively involved in the celebration.
  • Some of these include Curt Brown, Scott Carpenter, Bob Crippen, Dick Gordon, Fred Gregory, Fred Haise, Hank Hartsfield, Marsha Ivins, Wendy Lawrence, Jack Lousma, Brewster Shaw and Norm Thagard.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-25-2013 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A schedule of events for Friday and Saturday (June 28-29) has now been released.

And now on Sightings, the list of astronauts participating in the celebration.

It doesn't look like the visitor complex will announce in advance which astronauts are participating in which events, other than all of them being present for the grand opening ceremony.

onesmallstep
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Posts: 508
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 06-26-2013 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm envious of the people attending. Great that both the first and last commanders of Atlantis, 'Bo' Bobko and Chris Ferguson, will be there, and two other STS-135 crewmembers.

I see no appearance by Scott Carpenter (so less a Mercury astronaut) but Dick Gordon holds down the fort for both Gemini and Apollo; he must the hardest working retired astronaut! Neat also that astronauts will be randomly placed in visitor tour buses. Like an Easter egg hunt - only better!

alanh_7
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Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 06-27-2013 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Judging by the photos posted here and the event schedule and lineup this looks like an amazing event.

KSCartist
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Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 06-28-2013 04:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to the kindness of friends, I'll be able to attend the Atlantis opening day festivities at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. They are going to be keeping an eye on me so that I don't leave on a stretcher. If I get tired, I'll park myself in a shady spot and watch the madness around me.

I hope to see a bunch of cS'ers who are in town for the event. I'll have some special patches with me for those interested.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 06-29-2013 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let me respond to a few cS-member sent emails in this forum about the Atlantis grand opening celebration gala last night.

It was a tremendous, awesome, and most spectacular 4(+)-hour evening! One of the best that my wife and I had attended in a long, long time.

DNC/NASA, along with their event sponsors, went all-out in every way possible to make this an exciting and historic lifetime-party celebration!

It was one of the best-ever from all of my attended space celebrations, invited launch parties, anniversary galas, and special events going back to the later Apollo era and entire shuttle program.

For those space fans not able to visit the KSCVC during the special Atlantis celebration week, do plan a visit soon to see the retired Atlantis orbiter in her exciting new home here on Florida's Space Coast. You will not be disappointed, I promise!

p51
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Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 07-02-2013 04:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did anyone get photos? I assume Robert's working up something on the event?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-02-2013 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE's opening day coverage ran on opening day: And here's a video of the opening ceremony:

onesmallstep
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Posts: 508
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 07-03-2013 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great to see all the photos from the opening weekend events; my mouth is already salivating in anticipation. I especially liked the Atlantis patch Tim designed. But what impressed me the most was the quality and quantity of the exhibits on view, for any age (like that ISS crawl-thru) and interest. Hopefully, the other retired orbiters around the country can try to reach if not match the level of execution in their shuttle artifact exhibits and graphics. Kudos to KSC and Delaware North!

Blackarrow
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Posts: 2024
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-03-2013 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I look forward to the day (I hope within the next few years) when I get to see "Atlantis" again. My first view was from 6 miles away on 8th June, 2007: the launch of STS-117. I wish I could have seen her flying into space one more time, but I will settle for the KSC display, which seems highly spectacular. Is "Atlantis" within walking distance of the Saturn V Center?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-03-2013 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
Is "Atlantis" within walking distance of the Saturn V Center?
No; the Saturn V Center is located on NASA property. Public access is by bus only.

The "Space Shuttle Atlantis" exhibit is on site at the visitor complex (located in what was formerly the Shuttle Plaza, adjacent to the Space Mirror Memorial).

Blackarrow
Member

Posts: 2024
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-04-2013 07:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Robert - yes, I can visualise where that is, from memory.

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