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An engineering feat never accomplished before.

Atlantis Orbiter Home at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center, Florida

  • Client

    PGAV Destinations

  • Size

    96,000 sf

  • Services

    • Design Services
    • Sustainability
  • Awards

    • SMPS National Marketing Communications - Media Campaign

While NASA's Space Shuttle program has ended, one spacecraft lives on in a prime position. Space Shuttle Atlantis now permanently sits 30 feet off the ground, rotated at a 43.2 degree angle at Kennedy Space Center's Visitor Complex. And the reason you can safely walk under this 82-ton, 80 ft. wide, space vehicle today? Because a BRPH structural engineer made it so.

This project was so unique that the facility was constructed AROUND Atlantis. Even getting it to the Visitor Complex was a feat in itself. The journey from the other side of the space center required teams to remove 120 light poles, 23 traffic signals, 56 traffic signs, and 1 high-voltage power line.

Once inside, the shuttle was carefully sited within the future exhibit space and aligned slightly off of the building's column grid to provide the best views from the elevated ramps and observation platforms.

The support beams used on the underside of Atlantis were formed from pairs of W30 × 173 sections that had been welded together and covered at the top and bottom flanges by 1 in. thick plates.

A once in a lifetime modern engineering marvel - never before attempted or executed.

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