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!