Orlando, Florida (NAPSI) - There’s good news for those looking for a vacation destination built around family fun, a touch of education and one-of-a-kind attractions.

Just east of Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is the only place on Earth where a family can tour launch areas, meet a real astronaut, see giant rockets, train in spaceflight simulators and view a rocket launch. Now it’s also the place to stand within an arm’s length of one of the most complex machines ever built by mankind, Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Atlantis Comes Home

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex recently opened the new Space Shuttle AtlantisSM exhibit, which gives visitors a chance to get nose-to-nose with the final shuttle orbiter to fly a NASA mission, Atlantis. The six-story, $100 million exhibit features state-of-the-art multimedia presentations and more than 60 interactive exhibits and simulators, along with an awe-inspiring, 360-degree view of Atlantis, elevated 30 feet off the ground and rotated at an angle with its payload bay doors open and its robotic arm extended.

“As the home of human spaceflight,KennedySpaceCenterlaunched and processed all 135 space shuttle missions from 1981 to 2011—including Space Shuttle Atlantis’ 33 missions—so having the orbiter here makes a lot of sense,” said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “We’re thrilled to celebrate the opening of the new home of this iconic symbol of mankind’s ongoing exploration of space.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to use interactive, touch-screen experiences and high-tech simulators to “be the astronaut”—bringing the people, passion and patriotism behind NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program, the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station to life.

Guests can also participate in the Shuttle Launch Experience, which simulates vertically launching into space aboard a space shuttle while being immersed in the sights, sounds and feelings of a real shuttle launch.

Celebrating Past and Future Spaceflight

While Atlantis is the centerpiece, the new attraction also shines the spotlight on the astounding achievements made over the course of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program and honors the thousands of people who made it a success. The new exhibit also outlines how the shuttle program paved the way for NASA’s future manned spaceflight programs.

For more information, visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com or call 877-313-2610.