NASA celebrates 30th anniversary of first shuttle launch; announces new homes for retired shuttles
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
NASA celebrated the launch of the first space shuttle Tuesday at an event at the (KSC) in . On April 12, 1981, lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on , the first space shuttle mission.
NASA held a ceremony commemorating the date outside the hangar, known as Orbiter Processing Facility-1, for, which is being prepped for its final mission which will be , which will be the last Space Shuttle mission.
At the ceremony, New York City.announced the locations that would be given the three remaining Space Shuttle orbiters following the end of the . The prototype orbiter, Space Shuttle Enterprise would be relocated from the at to the in
will take the place of Enterprise at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Discovery has already been retired following the completion of last month, its 39th mission. Discovery is undergoing decommissioning and currently being prepped for display by removing toxic materials from the orbiter.
California following its retirement. Finally, Atlantis will go on display at the following the orbiter's last flight which launches June 28., which will launch on at the end of the month on April 29, will be sent to the in ,
Columbia was lost tragically back on February 1, 2003 when it disintegrated during re-entry killing all seven astronauts aboard.was lost when it exploded 73 seconds after liftoff back on January 28, 1986 killing all six aboard.
"We want to thank all of the locations that expressed an interest in one of these national treasures," said Bolden to the gathered crowd which contained many KSC employees. "This was a very difficult decision, but one that was made with the American public in mind. In the end, these choices provide the greatest number of people with the best opportunity to share in the history and accomplishments of NASA's remarkable Space Shuttle Program. These facilities we've chosen have a noteworthy legacy of preserving space artifacts and providing outstanding access to U.S. and international visitors."
Over twenty locations looked to obtain one of the orbiters because of potential tourism booms from them.
Not all were pleased with the final choice of locations. U.S. Senator, Republican from , issued a statement regarding the rejection of (JSC) in as a location. “Like many Texans, I am disappointed with NASA’s decision to slight the Johnson Space Center as a permanent home for one of the Space Shuttle Orbiters. Houston has played a critical role throughout the life of the space shuttle, but it is clear political favors trumped common sense and fairness in the selection of the final locations for the orbiter fleet."
Cornyn's statement added, “There is no question Houston should have been selected as a final home for one of the orbiters—even Administrator Bolden stated as much. Today’s announcement is an affront to the thousands of dedicated men and women at Johnson Space Center, the greater Houston community and the State of Texas, and I’m deeply disappointed with the Administration’s misguided decision.” However, the JSC will recieve pilot and commander seats from the flight deck.
Thein was also proposed as another location for a shuttle, going so far as to build a new building to house an orbiter. In a statement, said, “The Museum of Flight put a tremendous amount of effort into landing a retired shuttle in the Pacific Northwest. As the home of modern day air travel and the 747, which has gracefully transported shuttles for the last 30 years, Seattle would have been a perfect fit. While the Museum of Flight was in the top running, I’m disappointed that NASA did not choose them.
“However, the full fuselage trainer, that every astronaut including [former Museum of Flight CEO]has been trained on, will soon call the Museum of Flight home. The largest of the trainers, this addition will allow visitors to actually climb aboard the trainer and experience the hands-on training that astronauts get. Visitors will not be allowed in the other shuttles and this trainer is a true win for our dynamic museum. It will help inspire young people to the adventure of space and to the excitement of a career in science, technology, engineering and math."
Other items include various shuttle simulators which will be given to the Illinois, the of , and Aerospace Engineering Department. The nose cap assembly and crew compartment trainer for the at in and orbital maneuvering system engines for the in , the National Air and Space Museum, and the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum.in ,
NASA is also offering shuttle heat shield tiles to schools and universities that want to share technology and a piece of space history with their students.
The 30th anniversary of the first shuttle mission coincided with the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight whenlifted off aboard into space.
- David Weaver. "NASA Announces New Homes For Shuttle Orbiters After Retirement" — , April 12, 2011
- "NASA announces homes for space shuttles" — , April 12, 2011
- Michael Martinez and John Zarrella. "NASA announces new homes for retiring space shuttles" — , April 12, 2011
- Robert Pearlman. "NASA retiring its shuttles to Smithsonian, museums in California, Florida, New York" — , April 12, 2011
- Press Release: "Cornyn Statement On Administration’s Failure To Retire Orbiter To Rightful Home In Houston" — , April 12, 2011
- Press Release: "Gov. Gregoire’s statement on Museum of Flight’s bid to house retired space shuttle" — , April 12, 2011
- Michael Curie and Allard Beutel. "NASA To Hold 30th Anniversary Ceremony At Kennedy Space Center And Announce Permanent Space Shuttle Locations" — , April 11, 2011