30 March 2010
News - Vehicles (Good)
New York City Wants a Shuttle
(And it's not the S train)
by Carol Pinchefsky
New York City is home of the Empire State Building, the New York Yankees, Central Park, and the office of the Space Future Journal. And if Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressperson Jerrold Nadler have their way, New York will have a new bullet point on the list of local destinations: a space shuttle.

According to this Space.com article, there are plans in the works to bring one of the three soon-to-be-retired space shuttles to New York City, to be housed at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Author Tariq Malik wrote, “Basing a shuttle at the Intrepid would generate up to $71 million each year in direct spending for New York City, as well as a total of $106 million per year in new economic activity, museum officials said. It would allow more than 50 million residents and tourists a year to see the American spacecraft.”

At first glance, it seems as if the Intrepid Museum is the second most logical place for a piece of space history: the honor of the most logical place goes to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. However, the Air and Space Museum might not have enough room to place a shuttle—they already have artifacts from the Apollo mission, including the command module, a checklist, and, um, a urine hose.

Still, the Intrepid Museum attracts 1 million tourists each year, a portion of the Big Apple’s 47 million annual tourists. Its collection includes an A-12 Blackbird (not to be confused with the SR-71) spyplane and the Corcorde airliner. The Intrepid itself recovered the Aurora 7 and Gemini 3 capsules.

With the potential increased foot traffic, there is no mention of how much money it costs to keep the shuttle and the museum in tourist-worthy condition. And as bringing a shuttle to the Intrepid Museum still in the planning stages, the museum has not set a price for admission for this new exhibition.

It makes one wonder…if tourists will spend US$71 million to view a shuttle that has been to space, how much will they pay to visit space themselves?

You can sign a petition to bring the Shuttle to New York City at the Intrepid Museum's website, here.
Share |
Carol Pinchefsky 30 March 2010
Please send comments, critiques and queries to feedback@spacefuture.com.
All material copyright Space Future Consulting except as noted.