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Space Shuttle Atlantis 'Go' For Public Viewing

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A photo made from NASA television shows the Atlantis sitting about 600 feet away from the International Space Station shortly after undocking Tuesday. Atlantis is completing the last space shuttle mission.

A photo made from NASA television shows the Atlantis sitting about 600 feet away from the International Space Station shortly after undocking Tuesday. Atlantis is completing the last space shuttle mission.

The last space shuttle to soar makes its museum debut this weekend.

The Atlantis exhibit opens to the public Saturday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It's the centerpiece of a $100 million attraction dedicated to the entire 30-year shuttle program.

And for the first time ever, ordinary Earthlings get to see a space shuttle in a pose previously beheld only by a few astronauts -- in flight with its payload bay doors wide open and a robot arm outstretched.

More than 40 astronauts who flew on Atlantis planned to take part in Saturday's grand opening at the visitor complex, a popular tourist attraction an hour's drive due east of Orlando.

Retired for two years, Atlantis is the last of NASA's three space shuttles to go on public display.


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