In this handout fromm NASA, the space shuttle Atlantis rolls down Kennedy Parkway on its way to its new home at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex November 2, 2012, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft traveled 125,935,769 miles during 33 spaceflights, including 12 missions to the International Space Station. Its final flight, STS-135, closed out the Space Shuttle Program era with a landing on July 21, 2011. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty image)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Dozens of NASA officials and astronauts gathered with guests at Kennedy Space Center for an up close view of the last space shuttle to soar.
The Atlantis exhibit opened on Saturday, the first time the public can see a space shuttle tilted at a deliberate angle, as in liftoff. It's the centerpiece of a $100 million attraction dedicated to the entire 30-year program.
Astronaut Leland Melvin told WFTV that a tear formed in the corner of his eye when he saw the shuttle. Melvin was one of the more than 40 astronauts who flew on Atlantis and attended the opening.
Also on display is a life-size replica of the Hubble Space Telescope and astronaut-captured images of the International Space Station.
The complex is an hour's drive east of Orlando.