WASHINGTON – NASA announced today that all three of its soon-to-be-retired shuttles will go to Disney facilities.
As part of the agreement, Disney announced that two of the shuttles, Atlantis and Endeavour, will stay in the United States at Disney World and Disneyland respectively.
The third shuttle, Discovery, which insiders speculated was going to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, will be headed to Shanghai Disneyland (estimated to open in 2016).
“It’s a national disaster, a tragedy, a travesty. I could go on. For NASA to team up with Disney is unconscionable. They might as well just stick the shuttle on 42nd St. and move the Spiderman production in there,” said an enraged Stephen Holdwich, director of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City.
“We’ve been working for this for years, as have many other museums and legitimate institutions all over our country. NASA had requirements, none of which Disney manages to satisfy. These shuttles should have gone to science. It’s like donating your organs to a lollipop factory,” Holdwich continued.
Twenty-one air and space museums, science centers and educational institutions believed they were in the running to receive at least one of the retired space shuttles.
These institutions have been vying for the honor to exhibit and house a NASA shuttle since 2008. NASA had established certain criteria to qualify for an application. Interested organizations needed to:
- be in the United States or one of its possessions
- be able to house the space shuttle in a suitable climate-controlled indoor display or storage space
- be ready and able to accommodate delivery of the shuttle by modified Boeing 747 jetliner by as early as December 2011
- and be able to afford the estimated $28.8 million needed to prepare the orbiter for safe display and for transport to the museum