Sacramento – Today, Assemblywoman Sharon Runner’s (R-Lancaster) joint resolution requesting Palmdale, California as the new home of the retired Orbiter Atlantis passed the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Space & Tourism Committee unanimously. If passed, the California Legislature would transmit an official request to the President and leaders of Congress, proposing Palmdale for the prestigious honor.
"I am glad to have such broad support for this measure" said Runner. "I think everyone understands that Atlantis’ proper place for retirement should be its birthplace – Palmdale, California."
Space Shuttle Atlantis carried out 21 space flights, including the Galileo planetary explorer mission in 1989. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently announced its intentions to stand down or inactivate the Orbiter Atlantis following mission STS-126, which is presently scheduled for April 2008.
Palmdale is where every orbiter, Enterprise through Endeavour, was assembled and tested, including Atlantis; the facility continues to support the Space Shuttle Program with hardware fabrication and repair. Runner’s Assembly Joint Resolution 52 calls for public display of Atlantis at a designated museum, which the Palmdale facility could easily assist with.
"I still remember when Palmdale first delivered Atlantis for service to NASA back in 1985," said Runner. "As a lifelong resident of the Antelope Valley it gave me great pride to have our community contribute such a monumental spacecraft to our country. I believe retiring Atlantis in Palmdale will give us a continued sense of pride in our community’s accomplishments."
AJR 52 will be heard next before the full Assembly, likely early next week.