Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum To Receive Shuttle Enterprise

The NY Daily News is reporting that the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum will be receiving the prototype shuttle Enterprise to add to its collection. The Enterprise never flew in space, but was instrumental in key tests before the first manned space flight of the Columbia in 1981. The Enterprise is currently part of the Smithsonian's collection, which means that the Discovery is likely headed to the Smithsonian to replace the Enterprise. That leaves two shuttles to be split out among the half dozen frontrunners for a shuttle, including museums in Seattle, Dayton Ohio, and the Johnson Space Center and Kennedy Space Center.

The shuttle fleet is flying in to retirement this year after 30 years and more than 100 flights:

Where the three remaining space shuttles will end up is still a mystery. The battle to land these shuttles - priceless relics of an era of NASA manned spaceflight - has been fought by Congressional delegations and museum curators around the country hoping to land these spacecraft to make them the centerpieces of their collections.

Seattle's Museum of Flight is not getting a shuttle, but will receive a full-fuselage trainer from the Johnson Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center is receiving Atlantis, while the California Science Center is getting Endeavor.

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