Museum Hopes Space Shuttle Lands in San Diego

San Diego Air & Space Museum pursuing enormous spacecraft

By Eric S. Page
|  Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010  |  Updated 6:15 PM PDT
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Space Shuttle Atlantis Hubble Mission

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Shuttle Liftoff

With a roar and brilliant flash, the space shuttle Endeavour lifted off, lighting up the night sky over Kennedy Space Center.Carrying its crew of seven and a hefty to-do list.Over the next 15 days astronauts will do a little moonlighting, working construction and bathroom installation as the International Space Station grows in size."In the most simplest terms we are taking this currently 3 bedroom 1 bathroom outpost and we are adding another couple of bedrooms, we're adding a kitchen, we're adding another bathroom," said Shuttle Commander Christopher Ferguson.The astronauts will also work on a jammed solar array joint, necessary to help power the station and install a new water-recycling filter capable of turning condensation, sweat and even urine into drinking water.Samples will be tested here on earth before anyone actually tastes it, but it's seen as a key step for future flights headed toward the moon and mars."This is the only way to do it, we can't possibly take all the water with us," said Ferguson.Endeavour is also carrying some turkey dinners for the crew to eat while spending Thanksgiving in space. Holidays away from home while they give the space station an extreme home makeover. A mission that will likely leave the i-s-s crew giving thanks for years to come.
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Even if the Air & Space Museum gets its wish to be a permanent home for one of the retired space shuttles, there could be few problems.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum is one of 21 such organizations around the nation hoping to give a home to one of the newly retired space shuttles, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The out-of-this-world prize would offer the area an "inspirational, educational and long-term economic benefit," James Kidrick, president and chief executive officer of the Air & Space Museum, told the voiceofsandiego.org.

The Atlantic and Endeavor are both looking for homes, while the Discovery is slated for the Smithsonian in Washington.

There are issues for any museum that wins the bidding process, the paper reported: Whoever the lucky winner is will get a nearly $29 million bill to prepare the shuttle for its new home and get it to where it's going, the paper reported.

Another problem looms for the San Diego Air & Space Museum: Where would its final landing spot be? The shuttle's vast size would likely prevent it from finding a home in Balboa Park. Instead, Kidrick told the voiceofsandiego.org, the shuttle would be housed at a different site, possibly at the museum annex at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, where the museum restores aircraft.
 

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