Space Shuttle Atlantis' new home to open early
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. (NBC) -- The new home for the Space Shuttle Atlantis is opening early.
Astronaut Jon McBride was part of a ceremonial unveiling of a new logo for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's shuttle display on Thursday.
"In my mind it's going to be one of the most exciting things you can see here in the state of Florida and around the world," said McBride.
Executives also revealed the exhibit will open days earlier than expected -- June 29.
The hall is taking shape, with a balcony that brings visitors close enough to touch, almost.
In May, the shrink-wrap comes off the shuttle. By that time, the dust will be cleaned up.
"We're going to bring the shuttle astronauts here so they can tell the story of what it's like to live on the shuttle, what it's like to go to the space station," said Rick Abramson of Delaware North.
The $100 million exhibit will feature real astronauts, virtual reality and a shuttle launch experience will boast what no other display can, and visitors will be able to get closer to the shuttle than at any other display, including the Smithsonian.
"For the Space Coast, we want to make sure that this highlights the shuttle program and that the Kennedy Space Center is up and living and active," said Abramson.
Former shuttle workers will be part of the team that tells the story of Atlantis.