On April 12, 2011, marking the 30th anniversary of the first Space Shuttle Mission, NASA named the winners of the competition to receive Space Shuttle orbiters. The winning locations were Kennedy Space Center (Atlantis), California Science Center (Endeavour), National Air & Space Museum (Discovery) and New York City (Enterprise). Seattle's Museum of Flight was not selected.
The museum will get a “full-fuselage space shuttle trainer,” which is a full-size mock up of the orbiter sans wings.
Congratulations to the thousands of Puget Sound area individuals who have had a hand in our rich aeronautical and space programs that have contributed so much to our nation's pride and technological advancement. The Space Shuttle fleet and the missions it served were amazing achievements for mankind.
The Museum of Flight and many donors have worked hard to win the competition and become the home of one of the three Space Shuttles. A new 15,000 square foot climate controlled Space Gallery has been designed to house a Space Shuttle.
We salute the countless men and women who have contributed so much to our space program.
The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981 leading to operational flights beginning in 1982, all launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The system is scheduled to be retired from service in 2011 after 135 launches. Major missions have included launching numerous satellites and interplanetary probes, conducting space science experiments, and servicing and construction of space stations. Five space-worthy orbiters were built—two have been destroyed and one has been retired, leaving two currently in service.
The Space Shuttle (Narrated by William Shatner)