On April 12, 2011 NASA announced new homes for three space shuttles soon to be retired from the space program at the end of this summer. The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center will receive the Discovery and the California Science Center a Smithsonian Affiliate in Los Angeles, California, will receive the Endeavour.
But NASA isn’t just retiring the gigantic shuttles. Hundreds of space artifacts are also included in the retirement plan and several more Smithsonian Affiliates will have the honor of exhibiting them.
- The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum (Chicago, Illinois) will receive various shuttle simulators.
- The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum (McMinnville, Oregon) will receive an orbital maneuvering system engine and various shuttle simulators.
- The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington) will receive a full fuselage trainer.
- The U.S. Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville, Alabama) will receive a space shuttle orbital maneuvering engine.
These NASA objects join Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) artifacts already on long-term loan to these Affiliates and enjoyed daily by museum goers across the country.
- At the Adler Planetarium, visitors can see the Gemini 12 Space Capsule flown by Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin in 1966.
- The Aerobee 350 Sounding Rocket has recently been conserved at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum and will be on view for visitors to the museum soon.
- From space food to drawings to space suits, The Museum of Flight has delighted visitors to the museum with NASM artifacts for many years.
- The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is home to the Saturn V Rocket and many other artifacts such as space instruments and technical devices.
Of course, the history of the American space program and many more historic artifacts from the National Air and Space Museum can be can be seen in numerous Smithsonian Affiliate museums from Portage, Michigan to San Diego, California. There are 168 Smithsonian Affiliates in 40 states, D.C., Panama and Puerto Rico. More than 1,000 artifacts are currently on view at Affiliates across the country just waiting for visitors to experience the Smithsonian in their own neighborhood. Visit a Smithsonian Affiliate in your community today!