Space Shuttle Atlantis showcases the priceless, historic spacecraft that tells the incredible story of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program. Space Shuttle Atlantis is displayed as only spacewalking astronauts have seen her before -- rotated 43.21 degrees with payload doors open and its Canadarm (robotic arm) extended, as it has just undocked from the International Space Station.
Space Shuttle Atlantis features state-of-the-art multimedia presentations and more than 60 interactive exhibits and high-tech simulators that bring to life the complex systems and components behind this incredible feat of engineering. One of the most complicated and sophisticated pieces of equipment ever built, the shuttle is a vehicle that launched like a rocket, flew in orbit like a spacecraft and landed on a runway like a glider.
The immersive experience also shines a spotlight on the astounding achievements made over the course of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program, most notably, the building of the International Space Station and the launch and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Also celebrated are the thousands of people who took part in creating and maintaining NASA’s five space-flown shuttles – Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour – and how the shuttle program has paved the way for NASA’s next generation of manned spaceflight programs.
Space Shuttle Atlantis: The Building
The stylized shape of the new home for Atlantis features two sweeping architectural elements or “wings” in hues of orange and gold to represent both the heat and the bright colors of re-entry. Special gray colored tiling has been incorporated into the building’s design to represent the space shuttle tiles that protected the orbiter from the heat of re-entry.
Space Shuttle Atlantis: Entrance
Guests visiting Space Shuttle Atlantis are greeted by a full-scale, upright, replica space shuttle stack, including external tank and two solid rocket boosters. The 184-foot-tall assembly gives visitors a true sense of the awesome power used to thrust the shuttle into orbit.