CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s three remaining space shuttles will go to Cape Canaveral, Los Angeles, and suburban Washington when the program ends this summer, the space agency said yesterday.
The announcement came on the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle flight and the 50th anniversary of man’s first journey into space.
Shuttle Atlantis will stay in Cape Canaveral at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, just miles from the pair of launch pads where it was shot into space. Endeavour is headed to the California Science Center, miles from the plant where the shuttle was built; and Discovery’s new home will be the Smithsonian Institution’s branch in northern Virginia.
The Smithsonian is giving up the prototype Enterprise, which NASA said yesterday will go to New York City’s Intrepid museum.
Twenty-one museums and visitor centers around the country put in bids for the spaceships. NASA is giving shuttle simulators and other parts to some of them.
The shuttle program is winding down with only two more flights left. Endeavour is set to launch on April 29 and Atlantis will close out the shuttle program with a summer liftoff.
Russia spent yesterday celebrating its space accomplishment in 1961: the first human spaceflight by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia must preserve its preeminence in space. But critics there complained the government has paid little attention to the space program in recent years.