Sunday, April 10, 2011

NASA to Reveal New Museum Homes for Retired Shuttles Next Week

NASA is expected to announce the final resting places of the agency's space shuttles Tuesday (April 12), on the 30th anniversary of the first-ever shuttle mission. NASA is retiring the shuttle program later this year, and nearly two dozen museums around the country are vying for the right to display one of the workhorse orbiters. Up for grabs are the shuttles Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis — important pieces of spaceflight history that would doubtless pull many visitors through the doors.

That's the idea, for both the museums and NASA. The space agency has said it wants the shuttles to continue serving the nation in retirement by jump-starting the public imagination and helping lead young people into careers in math and science. "The shuttle program accomplished many outstanding things for this nation, and in 2012 we look forward to moving our retired orbiters to museums and science centers across the country to inspire the next generation of explorers," NASA chief Charlie Bolden said in a statement to Congress last months.