Shuttle Atlantis in its new home, banked at an angle and in an "action pose."
On November second, the retired shuttle orbiter was towed into it's partially completed home at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Over the course of five days, it was shrink-wrapped in thick plastic, and delicately hoisted into the air with four 800-ton hydraulic jacks. The vision is to have the spacecraft appear like it's flying through space, with one wing was raised only seven-and-a-half feet off the ground while the other rise 108 feet in the air.
"One of the most striking things about seeing shuttle Atlantis in it's new home here is the angle in which it's turned," said Tim Macy, Director of Project Development and Construction for Delaware North, the company that is installing the shuttle exhibit.
The view of Atlantis banked in flight, at a 43.21-degree angle, is so eye-catching, even the guy in charge of building it says it's distracting to him as he drives in to work.
"I stop every day at the light to turn around and look at it," said Macy. "I probably should pay better attention to where I'm driving."
Delaware North Company is spending $100 million on the 90,000-square foot shuttle showcase, so that visitors can see the shuttle from all angles, including beneath it, and 50 feet above it. The tourist attraction is hoping it will keep visitors coming back for more.
"We've got so much depth in terms of supportive knowledge on these, that you can continue to look deeper and deeper and deeper and continue to get more information," Macy said.
In March, the plastic wrap will be removed, and then in July, the facility will open to the public.