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Seeking the Space Shuttle, museum and state tourist groups raise shuttle flag

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Sep. 29, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
September 29, 2010 1:16 pm

Flying high above Seattle today is a new flag, a specially-designed Space Shuttle banner, waving from the roof of the Space Needle.

The flag is part of a campaign to demonstrate to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration the local fervor for attracting one of the three remaining Space Shuttles for display at Boeing Field’s Museum of Flight.

NASA is retiring the Space Shuttle fleet, and cities from across the country are competing to house one of the three shuttles.

Seattle’s Museum of Flight is mounting a full court press to convince NASA that its worthy to have one of the rare space vehicles. Among the other contestants in New York City, Houston, where the Johnson Space Center is located, Florida, where shuttle flights were launched and landed and a dozen other locales across the country.

Leading the local charge is former Museum of Flight president and former astronaut Bonnie Dunbar. Supporting the museum’s bid and present at the flagraising today were representatives from convention and visitors bureaus in Bellingham, the Kitsap Peninsula, Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane Valley and Yakima.

The Museum of Flight is recognized as one of the top aviation and aerospace museums in the country. It has a rare Concorde supersonic airliner in its collection, one of only two in the U.S. The other is at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York.

The museum has pledged to build a new structure to house the Space Shuttle if NASA donates one to the venue.

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