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October 27, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Murray, Cantwell tout Seattle as space-shuttle stop

Washington’s two U.S. senators today added their support to the idea of Seattle temporarily housing a retired space shuttle, saying that two of the cities awarded shuttles won’t be able to exhibit them for years.

In a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell said Seattle’s Museum of Flight should be used as a temporary home for either shuttle Enterprise or Endeavour, targeted to go to museums in New York and Los Angeles.

Gov. Chris Gregoire sent a similar letter to Bolden last week.

Seattle was among the losing bidders in April when Bolden selected permanent homes for the agency’s four shuttles with the end of the space-shuttle program this year.

Saying he was basing his choice on where the greatest number of people would see the shuttles, Bolden selected museums in New York and Los Angeles, along with the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

But the letter from Murray and Cantwell said the New York and Los Angeles locations wouldn’t be ready to display a shuttle until 2014 and 2016, respectively. In contrast, they said, Seattle’s Museum of Flight already has constructed a gallery that could host a shuttle.

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