NASA spaceport breaks ground for shuttle display

January 18, 2012 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer

NASA's retired space shuttle Atlantis is a step closer to completing its final journey.

The Visitor Complex in Florida broke 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. 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.

Explore further: Last 4 shuttle astronauts arrive for countdown

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