Dear citizens, we are happy to report that it appears that our long, national space war has finally come to an end. Despite an autumn full of controversy over whether or not New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum was prepared to take the Space Shuttle prototype NASA had awarded it after a spring full of heightened competition by museums across the country. Once an argument was raised that perhaps the Intrepid wasn’t quite as ready to receive the craft after making promises to the contrary to the space agency, other states jumped in, trying to win the craft in what they saw might be a second chance. Add to the issue that the museum then asked for $40 million in public funds to help build a new home for the ship, and things, at least from a PR perspective, seemed fairly rocky. However, that all seems like water under the bridge now, with this past weekend’s ceremony wherein NASA officially signed over the title to the Enterprise to the Intrepid (who knew there were titles for Space Shuttles, huh?), thus locking it in to New York for good. Senator Charles Schumer, who attended the ceremony, made extra sure to seal the deal and get those other states to back off, telling Space.com, “Let there be no bones about it, the Intrepid now officially owns a space shuttle and that’s going to stay for a very long time to come.” Here’s a statement about the transfer from NASA’s Administrator, Charles Bolden:
NASA is proud to transfer the title of space shuttle Enterprise to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The U.S.S. Intrepid had a rich history with NASA’s mission, and Enterprise – the pathfinder for the Space Shuttle Program – belongs in this historic setting. Enterprise, along with the rest of our shuttle fleet, is a national treasure and it will help inspire the next generation of explorers as we begin our next chapter of space exploration.