NASA's decision will be a big deal for the local tourist industry, perhaps making the shuttle one of the most popular visitor destinations in California. The Endeavor will be displayed at the Science Center, which is located in Exposition Park and billed as the West Coast's largest hands-on science center (the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft are already there). As for the others, the Discovery will be displayed at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport, and the Atlantis will remain in Florida, at the spaceport's official visitor complex. About a dozen museums had been in the running. The shuttles will be ready to ship out sometime next year. From space.com:
[NASA Administrator Charles Bolden's] announcement Tuesday came three years after NASA first said it would give its retired space shuttles to U.S. museums or educational institutions. Solicitations in 2008 and then again last year identified 21 organizations vying for an orbiter. Museums needed to provide an environmentally-controlled indoor exhibit space and be able to afford the estimated $28.8 million needed to prepare the orbiter and transport it for display (Congress waived the fee for the Smithsonian).
*The folks at Seattle's Museum of Flight are not happy. "Obviously that is not the news we were hoping for this morning," Museum of Flight President and CEO Doug King told a silent crowd. "I believe if there had been one or two more shuttles to go around, we would have gotten one." (Puget Sound Business Journal)