America

Who Gets The Space Shuttles?

Seattle's Museum of Flight's proposed Space Gallery, seen here in an architect's rendering. i i

Seattle's Museum of Flight's proposed Space Gallery, seen here in an architect's rendering. SRG Partnership/The Museum Of Flight hide caption

itoggle caption SRG Partnership/The Museum Of Flight
Seattle's Museum of Flight's proposed Space Gallery, seen here in an architect's rendering.

Seattle's Museum of Flight's proposed Space Gallery, seen here in an architect's rendering.

SRG Partnership/The Museum Of Flight

NASA reveals the destinations for three U.S. space shuttles today. The Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavour are all headed for museums when they're taken from service this year. The only question is - which ones?

NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce tells NPR's Newscast that the Smithsonian Institution is likely to get the Discovery. There are 21 other aspiring institutions, including the visitor centers at Florida's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Houston's Johnson Space Center.

It's not cheap, either. Space.com reports the museums must pay nearly $29 million dollars for transport (on the back of a larger plane) and display it properly. Space has a nifty article on "How to display a retired space shuttle".

The Smithsonian already houses a shuttle prototype, the Enterprise, which was air tested but never blasted into space. Since the Smithsonian is likely to get the real McCoy, Enterprise may be available for another museum's use.

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