Atlantis space shuttle exhibit opens in Florida

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June 29, 2013, 8:06 am
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(NBC/NECN: Dan Billow, Merritt Island, Fla.) - Atlantis was the last American space shuttle to take flight, and this weekend it makes its museum debut.

The Kennedy Space Center in Florida is opening a $100 million attraction dedicated to NASA's 30-year shuttle program, and Atlantis is serving as the centerpiece.

Visitors are welcomed to explore the entire history of shuttle flight before coming face-to-face with the Atlantis.

"What they'll see coming out is pretty much what I saw in my first space walk," said Jim Reilly, a former astronaut. "That was when I leaned back and looked past the tail of Atlantis and there was the Earth going below you."

"We want people to feel hope and aspiration," said Daren Ulmer of Mousetrappe Media, who helped design the exhibit. "We want to inspire young visitors to become a part of whatever's next.

Everything in the exhibit is full-size, including a Hubble space Telescope replica.

But after 33 missions, the Atlantis proves to be the main attraction.

"I'd rather see her in space," Reilly said.

For more, watch the attached video.

Tags: florida, Atlantis, dan billow, Kennedy Space Center
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