Seattle Museum of Flight won't get a space shuttle

By AP on April 12, 2011

SEATTLE - The Museum of Flight won't get to display one of the retiring space shuttles, but Seattle's air and space museum will get a consolation prize of a full-scale training mock-up that looks like the space shuttle without wings.

The museum near Boeing Field was one of 21 museum and science centers around the country hoping to land one of the spaceships. A new $12 million building called the Space Gallery is being prepared for the display.

Of the space shuttles that actually flew in space, the Discovery will be going to the Smithsonian Institution. It will take the place of Enterprise, the shuttle prototype used for tests in the late 1970s. The Enterprise will be going to Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York.

The shuttle Atlantis is going to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Endeavor is going to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Seattle museum visitors will be allowed to climb aboard and try out the full-size training module, which has been used by every astronaut and is the only one of its kind. Visitors won't be allowed to climb aboard the actual shuttles, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire noted in announcing why the consolation prize is a "true win" for the people of Washington.

"It will help inspire young people to the adventure of space and to the excitement of a career in science, technology, engineering and math," the governor added in her written statement.