I had heard a lot of good things about the $100 million dollar exhibition/museum for the Space Shuttle Atlantis but still expected to see another museum of old Space industry artifacts and be underwhelmed.
I worked on the Space Shuttle Program for a little over 8 years then had a couple of short software projects at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, and for me personally I was excited and thrilled at every display, every turn, every level of this exhibition.
First they have the 250,000lb Orbiter suspended as if in flight - "On Orbit", at about a 45 degree angle to the viewer. It actually looks as if they were in space with the 50 ft. arm deployed, wide band antenna, airlock in the payload bay (which is open). Everything is so close you can almost reach out and touch it.
Kids seeing the Orbiter for the first time are thrilled. Adults are mesmerized, even old Shuttle workers like myself have their breath taken away.
Its a shame that the program had to end. I miss seeing the Shuttle launch. Nothing lasts forever and these vehicles flew over 130 space missions, over 30 years, launched the Hubble Space Telescope (a full 50 ft mock up of the Hubble is on display right next to Atlantis). This exhibition tells there story. Very well! Bravo NASA!
If you love the Space Program or just love to be entertained ride over the JFK Space Center and check our the new Atlantis exhibit.
© Ralph De Palma Photographer