Saturday, April 9, 2011

KSCVC Considered a Favorite for Orbiter

An artist's concept of an orbiter on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.

Two articles on the Florida Today web site suggest the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex will receive one of the soon-to-be retired Space Shuttle orbiters.

Local business leaders were told by a senior NASA official that NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden will bring "good news for Florida."

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Chief Operating Officer Bill Moore said: "It's almost inconceivable" that NASA would not select KSC as a site for a retired shuttle. But he added that he has no inside knowledge of Bolden's decision.

Moore said Bolden is basing its decision on three main criteria: the location should have a significant relationship to the shuttle program, have a strong educational component and promise a significant number of visitors.

Robert Pearlman, the publisher of, thinks KSCVC will receive Endeavour.

Pearlman, who is based in Houston, said it is presumed that the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington will get fleet leader Discovery.

Pearlman sees the KSC Visitor Complex as the "clear favorite" for one of the shuttles, with four other sites as leading contenders for the other. Those include: the Air Force museum near Dayton; the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City; Johnson Space Center in Houston; and The Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Bolden is scheduled to be at KSC on April 12, the 30th anniversary of the first Space Shuttle launch, to announce the fate of the retired orbiters.

Enterprise, the prototype orbiter, may also go elsewhere. The National Air and Space Museum currently has Enterprise but is expected to send it elsewhere should they receive Discovery.

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