The Shuttle Shuffle: Retirement Homes Announced

After much anticipation and speculation, the retirement homes for the space shuttle orbiters have been announced. And those hoping for a Central Florida location for one of them were not be disappointed.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said the Shuttle Atlantis will be going to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. A $100 million exhibit will be constructed there to showcase the Atlantis, which is the fourth-rated shuttle.

According to SpaceLaunch News:

The planned 64,000-square-foot indoor plan will be highlighted by displaying the space flown oribiter above the crowd, angled slightly and the payload bay doors open.

A scale model of the Hubble Space Telescope is expected to hang behind the orbiter with the orbiter’s robotic arm raised skyward,

There was strong sentiment that at least one of the shuttles should remain in Florida. WESH reported:

Some have said Bolden would never make it out alive if he spurned the Space Coast.

It was also announced that Shuttle Endeavour will go to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, near Rockwell, where the orbiters were built. Endeavor is the newest orbiter.

The Discovery will be housed at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hzy Center in Virginia. The prototype of the Enterprise at the Smithsonian will be shuttled to The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on New York’s west side.

Bolden encouraged the shuttles’ new caregivers “to take good care of our vehicles. They’ve served the nation well, and we at NASA have a deep and abiding relationship and love affair with them that’s hard to put into words.”

The announcement, which took place at the Kennedy Space Center, marked the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle launch.


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