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Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit Opens

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(Photo by: Chip Somodeville/Getty Images)

(Photo by: Chip Somodeville/Getty Images)

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) — A who’s-who of NASA officials, astronauts, and former astronauts gathered at the Kennedy Space Center Saturday to get an up-close view of the last space shuttle to travel to space.

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 in Orlando 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.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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