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Atlantis NASASocial Day 2

by Elliott on November 2, 2012

Me at the front of Kennedy Space Center at the start of the day

Me at the front of Kennedy Space Center at the start of the day

Today was the big day that NASA was going to move Atlantis from the VAB to the Exploration Park and then finally to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex. I made it to the Visitor’s Complex at around 8am. We didn’t have anything planned until around 10:30 when we’d get onto a bus to go to Exploration Park to see Atlantis.

Space capsule at the Rocket Garden

Space capsule at the Rocket Garden

Catwalk from the Apollo missions

Catwalk from the Apollo missions

When we got onto the bus, we had a short wait until our guest speaker, NASA Administrator and astronaut Charlie Bolden, came onto our bus and told us what NASA’s up to and answered questions from the group. We drove out to the Exploration Park which is fairly close to the Visitor’s Complex.

Charlie Bolden talks about NASA

Charlie Bolden talks about NASA

I was walking around with fellow group member and excellent photographer Tracey (@tlarvenz). We were trying to scope out the location where we thought we could take the best pictures. After some speculation we found a spot which turned out to be great. Atlantis came rolling down the street soon after and we took some great pictures. Atlantis’ wing passed directly over us. We also followed Atlantis from behind as if we were in a parade.

Top of the Orion rocket

Top of the Orion rocket

Our first glimpse of Atlantis as it turned the corner around some trees

Our first glimpse of Atlantis as it turned the corner around some trees

United States sign on the side of Atlantis

United States sign on the side of Atlantis

Large crowds taking pictures of Atlantis

Large crowds taking pictures of Atlantis

NASA chopper flying over Exploration Park

NASA chopper flying over Exploration Park

@tlarvenz and Atlantis

@tlarvenz and Atlantis

Me and Atlantis

Me and Atlantis

Atlantis looks like it's floating

Atlantis looks like it’s floating

Atlantis stopped in the 90 degree bend in the road and the workers put out “Shuttle Xing” signs. Atlantis sat there for several hours giving everyone there ample time to take all of the pictures they wanted. In the meantime, there were a lot of activities and speakers. We heard astronauts Charlie Bolden and Bob Cabana speaking.

Shuttle Xing

Shuttle Xing

Wheels on the Atlantis transporter

Wheels on the Atlantis transporter

Bob Cabana talking to a group of people

Bob Cabana talking to a group of people


After lunch, we gathered as many Atlantis NASASocial people that we could find near the Press tent and set up a few group pictures. Everyone went separate ways, and I went with some group members to check out some of the exhibits. We managed to get a picture with astronaut Jim Voss.

Some of the NASASocial Atlantis group

Some of the NASASocial Atlantis group

Moving Atlantis down the road at 2mph

Moving Atlantis down the road at 2mph

NASASocial Atlantis group jumping for joy because we had a great time

NASASocial Atlantis group jumping for joy because we had a great time

@lizzybees, astronaut Jim Voss, @simplykellyd and @camerachamp

@lizzybees, astronaut Jim Voss, @simplykellyd and @camerachamp

At around 3:30 they started moving Atlantis again to her final destination. We watched it depart before heading to the bus.

A bird wanted to see what this was all about

A bird wanted to see what this was all about

Atlantis heading to the Visitor's Complex

Atlantis heading to the Visitor’s Complex

Atlantis with the Rocket Garden in the distance

Atlantis with the Rocket Garden in the distance

We got on our bus and headed back to the Visitor’s Complex. We walked around a little before headed to the shuttle viewing area. It seemed like group members all had theories on how to find the best viewing location so we all parted ways. Just before Atlantis came into view, most of the people who split up before wound up in the same location. We saw Atlantis pass by, stopping a couple times to allow people to take pictures and also to introduce the large contingent of astronauts on hand for the celebration.

People getting a good view of Atlantis

People getting a good view of Atlantis

@jonathansce trying to improve is perspective

@jonathansce trying to improve is perspective

This guy has the best view in the place

This guy has the best view in the place

These guys also have a pretty good view

These guys also have a pretty good view

When the Atlantis move was over, we headed back to the Shuttle Experience area to watch the fireworks. Just minutes after the fireworks were done, we saw the International Space Station fly overhead and the NASASocial event came to an end.

Fireworks to end the event

Fireworks to end the event

Bright fur ball above the bus loop

Bright fur ball above the bus loop

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