FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2010
SCHUMER RAMPS UP CAMPAIGN TO BRING RETIRED SPACE SHUTTLE TO INTREPID MUSEUM AND MAKES DIRECT APPEAL TO NASA ADMINISTRATOR TO SEND ONE TO NYC-- WOULD BE HISTORIC BOON FOR NYC TOURISM
NASA Announced Plans to Hand Off Three Retired Space Shuttles to Institutions - In May, Schumer Stood on the Deck of the Intrepid and Called on Administration to Bring Shuttle to the Intrepid
Intrepid Pushing to House the Shuttle in a Glass Enclosure on the End of Pier 86 on the West Side of Manhattan-Could Attract More Than 1 Million Visitors a Year
Schumer: The Space Shuttle's Last Landing Should be on the Intrepid Right Here in New York City
Today, United States Senator Charles E. Schumer made a direct appeal to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to bring a retired space shuttle from NASA to New York's Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum. Last Spring, NASA announced its decision to send three soon-to-be retired space shuttles to institutions across the country and Schumer quickly jumped on board the Intrepid's campaign to bring one of these shuttles to New York City. Schumer has fought since last May to bring a shuttle to the Intrepid. The Intrepid plans on housing the shuttle in a glass enclosure on the end of Pier 86 on the West Side of Manhattan and is hoping the exhibit could bring more than 1 million visitors a year. Twenty institutions across the country have applied to receive one of the retired shuttles, Discovery, Endeavour, and Atlantis. The shuttles will be ready for delivery in 2012.
“In these challenging economic times, bringing one of these spacecrafts in New York City will have dramatic long term effects on tourism and the economy.” Schumer said. “Not only will the shuttle rest among other celebrated aviation icons on the Intrepid, but it will be visited by over 1 million visitors each year. No other site can offer that volume. Period. Plus, we will generate the resources needed to house and preserve it properly. It’s time to ramp up the fight to bring this spacecraft to land where it belongs—on the Intrepid, in the heart of the Big Apple.”
NASA's announcement last year to donate three of its retired space shuttles to institutions lead the Intrepid Museum to enlist support from government officials and retired astronauts to bring one of the shuttles to the museum, which already includes a Mercury space capsule, a Concorde passenger jet, and a submarine. The Intrepid is just one of 20 institutions nationwide that has applied to receive one of the shuttles. NASA is estimating the cost at preparing and delivering each shuttle at $42 million. While the high cost may be a problem for some of the institutions, officials at the Intrepid are confident that they can raise the money by 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.
Since 1982, the Intrepid has become a national icon. More than 900,000 people visited the Museum from November 2008 – November 2009.
Schumer added,” The Intrepid has truly been an outstanding icon for New York. Having a shuttle here will not only help the economy, it will reflect New York’s spirit.”