Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Space Shuttle Retirement


In other news, it was the 30-year anniversary of the American Space Shuttle orbiters yesterday!

Space Shuttle retiring
After a two and a half years of idea solicitations, of not-always-friendly political wrangling, public petitioning, construction plans, and media hype, fully 10 museums were serious contenders for housing orbiters after the last launches this year.

Polls on CNN and SpaceTimeNews recently ran public opinion polls with surprising results, but of course, the decision would come down to ability and funding. Can you house an orbiter and care for it properly in a climate controlled environment while also herding crowds of people past it daily?

So here it is, space fans -- NASA administrator Charles Bolden announced the Shuttles' new homes:

Space Shuttle Retirement
Shuttle Enterprise
From Smithsonian to Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York

Shuttle Discovery
Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum - Udvar-Hazy Center, Virginia

Shuttle Endeavour
California Science Center, Los Angeles, California

Shuttle Atlantis
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Florida

Shuttle simulators will be allocated to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum of McMinnville, Oregon, and the Aerospace Engineering Department of Texas A&M University.

The Full Fuselage Trainer currently at Johnson Space Center will travel the Museum of Flight in Seattle. The nose cap assembly and crew compartment trainer will go to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, and two Orbital Maneuvering system engines will eventually reside at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center of Huntsville, Alabama and the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, and Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum.

Happy trails!


Childe Jake said...

Hooray! Wright-Patterson got something. That's my closest place for visiting. Though I don't know exactly when all this stuff will end up on display.

I keep thinking about the geography of where the orbiters end up. One to the Smithsonian (of course), one staying at a NASA facility, and the other two are going to either coast. That should make them accessible to a wide range of tourists and vacation plans. I wonder if that was a significant factor in their placements.

Michael said...

You forgot to mention that while all of the simulators and mockups are leaving JSC to go elsewhere, JSC will get a pair of flown seats. No, really.