Much of NASA is off-limits, but everyone is welcome at the Visitor Complex

CAPE CANAVERAL, F.L. (WSYR-TV) — While much of the Kennedy Space Center is off limits, much of it is not, and open to the public.

The Visitors Complex is the front-facing way for people to visit NASA and celebrate its science.

The complex is home to the actual Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Most people have seen Atlantis take off and land, but the view at the complex isn’t as familiar. The shuttle is hanging with the cargo bay open, so people can see all the space used as storage for equipment being brought to the International Space Station or other projects.

The museum-like park honors several generations of space flight, from the Eileen Collins shuttle days to the modern day of Dr. Jeanette Epps and SpaceX.

The facility is highly focused on NASA but also features its private partners like Lockheed Martin, Blue Origin and SpaceX.

A rocket similar to the one that blasted Epps into space hangs above.

“The beauty in this is not painting it,” said Chief Operating Officer Therrin Protze. “Not making it look pretty, but showing that it is an active space vehicle. We love the marks and dings that come with it (after) reentering into our atmosphere.”

It’s not just past and present. The Visitors Complex looks to the future of space too.

It features a Lockheed Martin prototype of a mobile home-like structure that could house humans on the moon.

Work to get there is happening right now on the International Space Station.

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