NASA will move Atlantis into Kennedy Space Center's Vehicle Assembly Building next week, opening a processing hangar for Endeavour as work continues to prepare three shuttle orbiters for museum display.
Atlantis is expected to roll out of Orbiter Processing Facility-2 around 8 a.m. next Friday, Jan. 20.
On Wednesday, the center's Visitor Complex plans to break ground on a $100 million exhibit facility for Atlantis, which is expected to open in the summer of 2013.
Endeavour is bound for the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Discovery will go to the Smithsonian Institution's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., replacing the prototype Enterprise, which will move up to the Intrepid Air, Sea & Space Museum in New York City.
All three orbiters are expected to depart KSC this year.
IMAGE: In Orbiter Processing Facility-2 at Kennedy Space Center on Dec. 22, 2011, the flight deck of space shuttle Atlantis is illuminated one last time during preparations to power down the shuttle during Space Shuttle Program transition and retirement activities. Credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann