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NASA Spaceport Breaks Ground for Shuttle display

MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer
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The space shuttle Atlantis is towed back to its hanger on July 21, 2011 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, after its 13-day mission. Atlantis safely touched down bringing an end to the 30-year US shuttle program.(Photo credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

The space shuttle Atlantis is towed back to its hanger on July 21, 2011 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, after its 13-day mission. Atlantis safely touched down bringing an end to the 30-year US shuttle program.(Photo credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s retired space shuttle Atlantis is a step closer to completing its final journey.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Floridabroke ground Wednesday for the permanent home of Atlantis. The $100 million exhibit will open in summer 2013.

The astronaut who commanded Atlantis’ final spaceflight, Christopher Ferguson, was among the more than 100 guests at the ceremony.

Shuttle Discovery will actually be the first to ship out to museums. In April, it will head to the National Air and Space Museum’s display hangar outside Washington. Shuttle Endeavour will travel some months later to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

NASA’s 30-year shuttle program ended last July with the voyage of Atlantis.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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