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Pre-dawn Shuttle Launch to Excite Visitors at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center, Fla. (February 7, 2007) – The sun will rise a little earlier on March 15, as Space Shuttle Atlantis roars into orbit on another construction mission to the International Space Station. A limited number of tickets are now on sale to view the early morning launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, mission STS-117, from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the closest public viewing site to the launch pad. The launch is scheduled for Thursday, March 15 at 6:43 a.m. EST.

Admission tickets must be purchased in advance to receive a car placard to enter Kennedy Space Center for NASA's 21st U.S. mission to the International Space Station. During its 11-day mission, the six-person crew of Atlantis will install a new support truss to the station along with a set of power-generating solar arrays, destined to provide one-fourth of the total power generation for the completed station.

As with all Shuttle launches, special launch day activities will take place at the Visitor Complex. These will include live NASA countdown audio and video presentations on a jumbo-sized screen, Astronaut appearances, launch briefings and special activities for children. The International Space Station is expanding at a rapid pace, and visitors to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex can see the full scope of the Space Station in the IMAX theater presentation, "Space Station 3D."

Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone. Visitor Complex admission is $38+ tax for adults and $28+ tax for children ages 3-11 and includes viewing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis launch from the Visitor Complex. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 321-449-4400 or visit