A Dynamic Colored Ring-Design Emboldens the Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit


A Dynamic Colored Ring-Design Emboldens the Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit

In 2011, the Space Shuttle Atlantis embarked on its 33rd and final mission into space, marking over two decades of service for NASA. Upon its decommissioning, it was announced that the shuttle would join the ranks of the many illustrious exhibits at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, spurring the construction of a building worthy of housing such an iconic piece of the space program’s history.

Teaming up with PGAV Architects and Whiting Turner, NASA commissioned a $100 million design to house the Space Shuttle Atlantis. What emerged was a 90,000-square-foot exhibit that represents a shuttle’s launch and return from orbit, complete with its very own giant orbital ring.

To construct the beautiful ornament encircling the exterior of the exhibit, 80,000 square feet of ALPOLIC 3mm aluminum composite material (ACM) was installed in a progressive interlocking custom wall system. The 26,000 tile panels were coated in a custom Prismatic Red Coral Yellow shade of Valspar’s Valflon, perfectly mirroring the color scheme of the rocket that originally propelled the Atlantis into space. Valflon coating not only helped the ring capture the character of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, but also added vibrancy and durability to the ambitious design.

Valflon coatings are durable FEVE fluoropolymer based resins, which create a distinguished appearance without sacrificing on performance. They also provide excellent adhesion and flexibility properties along with resistance to airborne chemicals, and protection against weathering, chalking and fading.

The NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit opened its doors to the public in 2013, and now tells the story of the historic 30-year Space Shuttle Program to thousands of people each year. Thanks to Valspar and ALPOLIC Materials, the Kennedy Space Center has a distinctive, world-class facility to help house and honor the Atlantis for years to come. In the right light, the appearance of the building’s orbital ring shifts between a bright red and yellow, giving the impression that the building itself may be preparing for its own voyage into space.

NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL; https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/the-experience.aspx