United States Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand announced today that after a year of relentless lobbying, NASA has chosen New York City, out of 20 applications nationwide, as the final home for Space Shuttle Enterprise, one of three space shuttles that are scheduled to be displayed across the country. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will be home to the Enterprise in 2012.
“Fifty years ago, President Kennedy chose to go to the Moon. Today, NASA chose New York. With today’s announcement, the greatest City in the world will become home to one of the greatest achievements in the history of space exploration. NASA understands that if you want millions of tourists to get a firsthand glimpse of an icon in American scientific achievement, New York is the place to do it. The shuttle has landed right where it belongs: on the Intrepid. Putting the shuttle on the Intrepid will ignite the imaginations of millions of young minds, inspiring them to think big and reach for the stars,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer.
“I am thrilled that NASA will land a space shuttle in New York City and I can’t wait for my two young boys to experience the Enterprise,” Senator Gillibrand said. “As the cultural and economic capital of our nation, New York City has the right stuff to create a world class exhibit attracting millions of visitors and school children. Having this American treasure in the heart of the Big Apple will inspire generations to come.”
Over the course of the last year, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand have worked tirelessly with officials from the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum to make the case that New York is uniquely positioned to host a shuttle and attract the greatest number of visitors to see it. Both senators placed numerous calls to officials at NASA and helped launch a petition campaign, with visiting boy scouts, on the Intrepid in March 2010.
The Intrepid plans on housing the shuttle in a glass enclosure on the end of Pier 86 on the West Side of Manhattan and are hoping the exhibit could bring more than 1 million visitors a year. Twenty institutions across the country have applied to receive one of four shuttles, Discovery, Endeavour, Atlantis and the Enterprise. NASA estimates the cost of preparing and delivering the shuttles at $42 million each. The shuttles will be ready for delivery in 2012.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is one of America’s leading historic, cultural and educational institutions. Opened in 1982, the Museum has welcomed more than 10 million visitors. The Museum is centered on the aircraft carrier Intrepid, one of the most successful ships in US history, and now a national historic landmark and one of the most unique attractions in New York City. In 1943, Intrepid was commissioned and served proudly in World War II. She went on to serve as one of the primary recovery vessels for NASA, three tours of duty off Vietnam, and submarine surveillance in the North Atlantic during the Cold War. Today she continues her service as a premiere educational center and a monument to all who have served our nation in uniform.
The mission of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is to honor heroes, educate the public, and inspire youth. This mission is realized through the Museum’s preservation, collection, exhibitions, interpretations of individual contributions, and exceptional education programs particularly as pertaining to the service era of Intrepid from World War II through the present. The Museum seeks to provide a powerful visitor experience fed by a dynamic, innovative and moving environment for learning and enjoyment.