Where Will Shuttles End Up?
March 10, 2011 — With the shuttle Discovery completing its 39th and final mission this week, and final missions of the other two remaining shuttles looming (Endeavour in April and Atlantis in June), thoughts are now turning to where these iconic spaceships will wind up. Twenty-one organizations, mostly museums, are lining up for consideration, according to NASA. But the price is steep: $28.5 million.
Leading candidates mentioned in a recent New York Times article about campaigns to land the spacecraft include the Johnson Space Center’s visitor center in Houston - it hired a marketing firm and created a website; the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York - collected more than 150,000 signatures on a petition to land the shuttle; The Museum of Flight in Seattle – has optimistically built the first wall of a new $12 million shuttle wing; and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum – which announced earlier if could not afford the high price tag to acquire a shuttle, Congress excluded the museum from the acquisition costs.
Others noted include the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the California Science Center in Los Angeles, and the Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio.
EAA’s Adam Smith said the EAA AirVenture Museum is not pursuing a shuttle, but EAA is trying to get one to come to Oshkosh. “We’re actively trying to have one of the shuttles visit AirVenture 2012 on the back of a 747 while en route to a museum,” he said.