What to do in Florida: See Space Shuttle Atlantis or Endeavour till fall 2012

Vehicle Assembly Building aerial (credit: NASA)

Vehicle Assembly Building aerial (credit: NASA)

Florida News: Take a Behind-the-Scenes tour to catch a glimpse of Atlantis

Kennedy Space Center is continuing to roll out its 50th anniversary celebrations! Until October 2012 you can have a chance to get up close with either Space Shuttle Atlantis or Endeavour. NASA moved Atlantis into the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) June 29th from the Orbiter Processing Facility, and until mid August it is visible before it gets prepared for  a multimillion-dollar exhibit that opens July 2013. Once Atlantis leaves the VAB, you’ll be able to see the Endeavour for one month before it gets flown on a modified Boeing 747 to Los Angeles. The Atlantis will return to the VAB on Oct. 11 for a few more weeks of viewings till Nov. 1.

The Tour

You can step inside the 525-foot-tall VAB building during the Up-Close: The Vehicle Assembly Building Tour. One of the world’s largest buildings, it’s where the assembly for both Apollo rockets and space shuttles took place. Aside from the Atlantis or Endeavour, you’ll also see the the 6 million-pound crawler-transporter and the launch pads for the space shuttle.

Tour Cost: $25/ adults, $19/children ages 3-11; on top of admission.

Other Behind-the-scenes tours

The Up-Close: Launch Control Center (LCC) tour lets you step inside the firing room where all of the 21 space shuttle launches were controlled since 2006. The Up-Close: Launch Pad Tour, which opened Friday, lets you step inside Launch Complex 39 for a rare glimpse of a NASA’s space program, from preparation to rocket launch.

Tour Costs: $25/ adults, $19/children ages 3-11; on top of admission.

Tell us…

Have you watched a space shuttle launch?