CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA is giving its retiring space shuttles to museums in Cape Canaveral, Los Angeles and suburban Washington.
Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville was one of 21 museums and visitor centers around the country hoping for the spaceships. Instead, Evergreen will receive millions worth of shuttle memorabilia.
The retiring shuttles are going to the Smithsonian Institution for its branch in northern Virginia, the California Science Center in Los Angeles and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
New York City will get the prototype Enterprise, which was used for test flights in the 1970s.
The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville has a spot in its museum that is shuttle-ready and had hoped to land one of them.
Had Evergreen received a shuttle, it would have had an aviation fan trifecta with the Spruce Goose and SR 71 Blackbird spy plane.
It was mostly disappointing for Evergreen and the state of Oregon, but I am happy there s one at least on the West coast, said Gary Barret, a volunteer at the Evergreen Space Museum.
Barret and dozens of other volunteers watched NASA's announcement from inside Evergreen's IMAX theater.
But although they were disappointed with the news Tuesday, Evergreen officials said they will still be getting $13 million worth of other space shuttle parts to put on display.
This would include tiles off of the space shuttle, it would include space suits, jet packs, things of that sort - really interesting artifacts. explained Tim Walhberg with Evergreen.
Many museums vied for spaceships
Twenty-one museums and centers around the country put in bids for the spaceships.
The Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Johnson Space Center in Houston were leading contenders.
The shuttle program is winding down with only two more flights left. Shuttle Discovery ended its flying career last month and it's going to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
Up for grabs were shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis and the prototype Enterprise. That Enterprise is being replaced by shuttle Discovery at the Smithsonian, freeing that craft for another location.
Other contenders were the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio and museums in New York City, Seattle and Chicago.
Officials at Seattle's Museum of Flight had their fingers crossed, waiting for Tuesday's announcement of where retiring space shuttles will be displayed.
The museum near Boeing Field was one of 21 museum and science centers around the country hoping to land one of the spaceships. A new building called the Space Gallery was being prepared for the display.