NASA Chooses Space Shuttles’ Retirement Homes





NASA’s space shuttles, which have been carrying astronauts aloft for 30 years, were assigned to their final destinations on Tuesday: one will head to the nation’s capital, another to Los Angeles, and the third from its current home at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the center’s visitor complex next door.

In a ceremony commemorating the shuttle program, Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr., the NASA administrator, made the long-awaited announcement of where the soon-to-be museum pieces would end up.

The Discovery, which completed its final flight last month, is headed to the Smithsonian, for display at the spacious Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport. The Endeavour, currently on the launching pad for its final space trip, will go to the California Science Center. The Atlantis, scheduled for its last mission in June, will go to the Kennedy visitor complex.

The audience at the Kennedy ceremony erupted into cheering and whooping as General Bolden announced the Atlantis’s destination. “I guess I got something right today,” the general said with a laugh.

Conspicuous among the unsuccessful hopefuls were the Museum of Flight in Seattle, which had already begun construction of a wing that it hoped would house an orbiter; the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio; and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas, the site of mission control for the 135 shuttle missions....

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