Seattle's Museum of Flight has high hopes of getting a retired space shuttle, but sources in Washington, D.C., told KIRO 7 on Monday that Seattle is considered an "underdog" in the competition.
Of the more than 20 locations vying for a shuttle, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum has been promised Discovery. The Smithsonian already houses the Enterprise, which will be moved to another location. The Enterprise was the prototype for the shuttle program, but never flew in space. The other two retired shuttles up for grabs are Atlantis and Endeavor.
The announcement of where the retired shuttles will go will take place at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where a shuttle will likely be placed.
But Houston, site of "mission control," is also considered a favorite, as is the Air Force Museum in Ohio and two locations in New York City.
But staff at Seattle’s Museum of Flight said their museum has a number of selling points.
"One of the big ones was, of course, having outstanding education programs, and our education programs are second to none," said the Mike Bush with the museum.
KIRO 7 Reporter Essex Porter said Monday evening that the museum's west coast location could also be a draw.
To show how serious Seattle is, Museum officials flew a giant shuttle flag from the top of the Space Needle last September.
The Museum of Flight is in the process of constructing a new building that could house a shuttle because candidates are required to have a place ready for the aircraft.
Tuesday, when the announcement will be made, is the 30th anniversary of the first shuttle flight, and the 50th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight.
The announcement will take place at 10 a.m. and will be streamed live on kirotv.com.
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