Sunday, April 28, 2013

NASA Space shuttle Atlantis (retired) exhibited

Space shuttle Atlantis (retired) is seen fully-exposed, its protective shrink-wrap cover removed, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, April 26, 2013.

CREDIT: Robert Z. Pearlman

Space Shuttle Atlantis (retired) is ready for its admiring public.

The retired NASA orbiter, which is set to go on public display June 29 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, was fully revealed Friday (April 26) after workers spent two days peeling off its protective shrink-wrap cover of the past five months.

"It looks fantastic," Tim Macy, director of project development and construction for Delaware North Parks and Resorts, which runs the visitor complex for NASA, said after seeing Atlantis unwrapped. "It looks better than I thought it was going to look."

"It looks completely different with the plastic on it than the plastic off," Macy told reporters. "But this is the way it is supposed to look. It looks so much like the exhibit's conceptual drawings."

On Thursday, workers began carefully cutting back the 16,000 square feet (1,486 square meters) of shrink wrap that protected Atlantis as its $100 million exhibition building was completed around it.

By the end of the first day, the shuttle's nose, tail, aft engines and left wing were exposed.

On Friday, the workers completed the process, revealing Atlantis' right wing and its 60-foot-long (18 meter) payload bay.

"I cannot wait to get the covers off the windows and get the doors open to see the final configuration," Macy said.

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