On Tuesday afternoon, NASA will announce whether or not the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum will receive one of its three retired space shuttles. The Intrepid is one of 21 museums nationwide vying for the chance to exhibit a space shuttle to the astro-minded masses.
Susan Marenoff, the museum's president, is confident that with more than 1 million annual visitors to the museum and more than 45 million that visit New York City, the Big Apple has the foot traffic to be a loving home for one of the epically-named space cruisers. (The Endeavor, the Atlantis and the Enterprise are the shuttles possibly coming to NYC.) "We garner the most amount of people, I think, of any of the institutions (trying to get a space shuttle), or of any city in the world," she said.
If the Intrepid fails to get a shuttle, it's not for lack of trying. The museum launched a Web site where space-lovers can sign a petition to try and get the shuttle to New York City that has 151,849 signatures to date. In April of 2010, a slew of enthusiasts donned space-themed costumes from jumpsuits to Spock suits to get on board one of New York's existing shuttles—the one between Grand Central and Times Square.
As a teacher at Public School 10 Magnet School for Math, Science and Technology in Brooklyn, Theresa D'Ambrosi says that hands-on experiences like visiting a museum are vital to teaching science. "They just love space, they really do. They love all the topics that are presented," she said, "because it's hands-on."
NASA is expected to make its announcement between 1:30 and 2:30 P.M. on Tuesday April 12.