After 30 years of spaceflight, more than 130 missions, and numerous science and technology firsts, NASA's space shuttle fleet will retire and be on display at institutions across the country to inspire the next generation of explorers and engineers.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on April 12, 2011 announced the facilities where four shuttle orbiters will be displayed permanently at the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program. Shuttle Enterprise, the first orbiter built, will move from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. The Udvar-Hazy Center will become the new home for shuttle Discovery, which retired after completing its 39th mission in March. Shuttle Endeavour, which is preparing for its final flight at the end of the month, will go to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Atlantis, which will fly the last planned shuttle mission in June, will be displayed at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
"We want to thank all of the locations that expressed an interest in one of these national treasures," Bolden said. "This was a very difficult decision, but one that was made with the American public in mind. In the end, these choices provide the greatest number of people with the best opportunity to share in the history and accomplishments of NASA's remarkable Space Shuttle Program. These facilities we've chosen have a noteworthy legacy of preserving space artifacts and providing outstanding access to U.S. and international visitors."
NASA also announced that hundreds of shuttle artifacts have been allocated to museums and education institutions.
- Various shuttle simulators for the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum of McMinnville, Ore., and Texas A&M's Aerospace Engineering Department
- Full fuselage trainer for the Museum of Flight in Seattle
- Nose cap assembly and crew compartment trainer for the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio
- Flight deck pilot and commander seats for NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston
- Orbital maneuvering system engines for the U.S. Space and Rocket Center of Huntsville, Ala., National Air and Space Museum in Washington, and Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
For more information about NASA's placement of the space shuttle orbiters, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/transition
For information about the Space Shuttle Program, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
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