NASA has unveiled the final destinations for its four remaining space shuttles, which are set to inspire a new generation of space memorabilia investors.
Endeavour, which makes its last flight later this month, will be sent to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, while the already retired Discovery will head, as had been anticipated, to the National Air & Space Museum in Virginia, part of the Smithsonian.
Atlantis, which will make the last flight of any shuttle with a 12-day trip departing on June 28, will wind up at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Enterprise will go on show at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, a decommissioned aircraft carrier moored at Manhattan Island.
21 museums and similar establishments had submitted bids for the pieces of space exploration history, which will be greatly missed by NASA staff.
"Take good care of our vehicles", said NASA administrator Charles Bolden.
"They served a nation well, and we at NASA have a deep and abiding relationship and love affair with them that is hard to put into words."
The popularity of the shuttles is testament to the fascination among collectors and investors for space exploration.
An early shuttle model based on initial design concepts at the Manned Spacecraft Centre achieved $23,180 at auction in 2009, while Commander John Young's flown flight suit patches from Columbia's first mission in 1981 sold for $56,762.
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