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Lawmakers Want a Space Shuttle In New York City 246

Posted by timothy
from the eternal-city-or-500-years-whichever-comes-first dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Bloomberg reports that New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and a bipartisan delegation of 17 US representatives from New York and New Jersey have sent a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden calling for the agency to place a shuttle aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. A former aircraft carrier, Intrepid served as one of NASA's recovery vehicles for early space flights. Intrepid officials have gathered almost 57,000 signatures on a petition to bring an orbiter to New York, and NASA is weighing 21 bids from visitors' centers, science museums and educational institutions eager to host one of the three aging space shuttles that will be retired this year. 'These are going to be like the Mona Lisa,' says space historian John Logsdon, referring to Leonardo da Vinci's iconic 1506 portrait of a woman in Florence that remains on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. 'The primary criteria for the shuttles' location will be the stability of the site and whether the chosen institutions can exhibit them for the next 500 years.'"
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Lawmakers Want a Space Shuttle In New York City

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  • 'The primary criteria for the shuttles' location will be the stability of the site and whether the chosen institutions can exhibit them for the next 500 years.'"

    Are they serious? 500 years? Good night people.

    • Those can't really be the primary criteria, can they? If so, put it inside the Yucca mountain nuclear waste storage site. It will be pretty safe there for a while.
    • Re:500 years? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by afidel (530433) on Friday April 23, 2010 @12:45AM (#31951122)
      Yeah really, considering how long Canaveral had their Saturn V outside exposed to UV and Florida thunderstorms that's a bit presumptuous, the Saturn V was a MUCH more import vehicle and yet for ~40 years NASA themselves couldn't/wouldn't spend the money to preserve it to last even 100 years.
    • Yeah; last time I checked, there aren't *ANY* structures in North America that have been around for 500 years. (Some Southwestern Native American pueblos have sections that have been continuously occupied for longer than that, but not the same physical structure the whole time.)

      • by Jupix (916634)

        They would like the institution to last 500 years, not the structure. It's not good for the historical items if the organisation who takes care of it goes belly up.

        Then again, you could also argue that a 20th/21st century building is more likely to withstand 500 years of use than one from the 15th/16th century. Castles excepted, of course.

        • by lxs (131946)

          Brick, hardwood and sandstone versus steel, glass and drywall...

          I would bet on the 15th century buildings lasting longest.

        • by nospam007 (722110) *

          There are thousands upon thousands of houses having more than 500 years in places where nobody threw bombs from the sky at us.

      • by xaxa (988988)

        What about the cities (city?) carved into the cliff face somewhere in the USA? It's a long, long time since I visited, I don't remember what it was called.

        I'm somewhat surprised how many thousand year old [wikipedia.org] buildings still exist. Seems like I should look round my own country some more...

        • by sznupi (719324)

          Isn't it more an example of surviving...cliff face or cavern?

          • by xaxa (988988)

            This is what I was remembering: Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado [wikipedia.org]. It's only 800 years old, so technologically it's not very good in comparison to something like the Tower of London [wikipedia.org] (900 years old), but that made it more interesting to visit.

          • Isn't it more an example of surviving...cliff face or cavern?

            No more so than a castle is surviving... quarry rocks.

            These things aren't just natural caves that happen to look like homes.

            • by sznupi (719324)

              Well, by checking it up further - those are ruins; which were also partially rebuilt lately to more closely resemble their probable original look. Protected from the elements by building them under natural cover.

      • by werfele (611119)

        Yeah; last time I checked, there aren't *ANY* structures in North America that have been around for 500 years.

        How about Teotihuacan [wikipedia.org]? The structures there have been around for about 2000 years. Admitted, they're no longer occupied.

    • by lxs (131946)

      I'm all for it.
      Stick a sign in front of it:

      Follies of th 20th century #7344
      The Great White Elephant

    • Re:500 years? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by quenda (644621) on Friday April 23, 2010 @04:28AM (#31952334)

      'The primary criteria for the shuttles' location will be the stability of the site and whether the chosen institutions can exhibit them for the next 500 years.'"

      That is just a knee-jerk reaction to what happened to the Russian space shuttle. After retirement (after one flight) it was stored in less-than-stable circumstances in Kazakhstan.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_(spacecraft)#Destruction [wikipedia.org]
      http://www.buran.ru/images/jpg/bbur89.jpg [buran.ru]

      BTW, the Russian shuttle was largely a copy of the US shuttle, except they added some safety features. When the Russians start making safety improvements to your design, you know you have a problem.

      • by Calinous (985536)

        No it wasn't a copy of the US shuttle - it didn't had thruster engines, only manoeuvre engines (thruster engines where on the Energia launch vehicle, which was a real launch vehicle unlike the US shuttle's fuel tank).

      • Re:500 years? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sznupi (719324) on Friday April 23, 2010 @07:27AM (#31953180) Homepage

        There is quite strong consensus that it wasn't a copy, but independetly developed counterpart - and given the requirements for comparable missions and technology available at the time, the shape of Shuttle & Buran was pretty much the only sensible one...

        Look at typical Airbus & Boeing aircraft. Or some biological examples [wikipedia.org]

  • Hot Properties (Score:4, Interesting)

    by StefanJ (88986) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:34PM (#31950530) Homepage Journal

    The Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinville, OR has a very nice collection of air and space exhibits. The "Spruce Goose," Howard Hughes' ill-fated wood composite transport plane, is on display there.

    When the museum built a new hall, they designed it to hold a shuttle. The space isn't quite empty, but you can tell they really have a hole to fill.

    I wonder what they'll do in what looks like the increasingly likely case that they won't get an orbiter? Maybe a Buran?

    • by Vellmont (569020)


      The Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinville, OR has a very nice collection of air and space exhibits.

      McMinville Oregon you say? Why not just put the thing in Bumfuck Egypt [onlineslan...ionary.com]? It's slightly bigger than McMinville.

    • by coaxial (28297)

      I wonder what they'll do in what looks like the increasingly likely case that they won't get an orbiter? Maybe a Buran?

      Only if they have a lot of time to reconstruct one [bbc.co.uk]. While I do not know the ultimate fate of the Buran, but judging from the last [buran.ru] photos [buran.ru], I suspect it's in a landfill. Such a shame.

      I'm going to miss the shuttle. I watched the first one go up on television at five years old. I had a copy the local newspaper proclaiming the launch in my room for decades. It is/was not a rocket, but an actual honest to god space ship. Yes it has it's problem. Yes, the requirements were repeatedly changed and made more s

    • by dkf (304284)

      The Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinville, OR has a very nice collection of air and space exhibits. The "Spruce Goose," Howard Hughes' ill-fated wood composite transport plane, is on display there.

      It's a superb museum, utter aerospace geek heaven. They've got a Blackbird. They've got a nuclear missile (no warhead), complete with control bunker. They've got a wonderful collection of aircraft engines. If you're in Portland (e.g., for OSCON [oscon.com]) then it's worth hiring a car and taking a trip out there.

  • by ChinggisK (1133009) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:34PM (#31950532)

    These are going to be like the Mona Lisa,' says space historian John Logsdon, referring to Leonardo da Vinci's iconic 1506 portrait of a woman in Florence that remains on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris

    I'm glad he specified that. I wasn't sure what he was talking about with just a simple "Mona Lisa".

    • If you go all the way to Paris to see it, you might be disappointed. It is behind 3 inches of plastic and 20 feet of oriental tourists.

      Meh... maybe I am jaded, but half of these [google.com] more than give you the gist of what it is... being in front of it adds nothing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

        From my research, it's not even the Mona Lisa that is the important painting in that hall. Rather it is the painting on the opposite wall that holds a clue to finding the Sangreal.

      • by syousef (465911)

        Meh... maybe I am jaded, but half of these more than give you the gist of what it is... being in front of it adds nothing.

        While I agree with the gist of the point you're making, I don't think you see realise the irony of pointing to a source with so many altered versions.

        Anyone got a good link to a high res image of the original?

    • by junglee_iitk (651040) on Friday April 23, 2010 @12:27AM (#31950964)

      These are going to be like the Mona Lisa,' says space historian John Logsdon, referring to Leonardo da Vinci's iconic 1506 portrait of a woman in Florence that remains on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris

      I'm glad he specified that. I wasn't sure what he was talking about with just a simple "Mona Lisa".

      Little known fact: the name of that "woman" is also - Mona Lisa. What are the chances!

    • by gringer (252588)

      referring to Leonardo da Vinci's iconic 1506 portrait of a woman in Florence that remains on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris

      How do you know that the displayed shuttle is not a cheap copy made to save on the expense of displaying a real shuttle?

      • Actually, I had 5 copies made. Now I just have to steal the original. /obscure
      • by bartwol (117819)

        How do you know that the displayed shuttle is not a cheap copy made to save on the expense of displaying a real shuttle?

        Easy...you press the "BLAST OFF" button to test.

  • Old news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by djupedal (584558) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:36PM (#31950552)
    Several cities and domestic air museums have already made their bids, etc. more than a year ago. From Disney to Evergreen, everyone wanted either an airframe or an engine. Evergreen had billboards up for more than a year that have been taken down long since.

    No one was interested when they saw the cost to transport, sanitize and decommission just one shuttle.

    So what's happening now? Lawmakers= lobbiests for the NYC tourism board begging with the expectation the tax payers will foot the bill? A shuttle wouldn't last one year exposed to the elements on the deck of the Intrepid Sea. Might as well put them on Antiques Roadshow.

    If anyone can afford it these days, it will be either Dubai or Shanghai.
  • If they set it up as well as they did the Concorde on the Pier next to the Intrepid. I was in NYC this summer and the Intrepid was one of the top highlights of the trip for me. I'll never get to fly on a Concorde - or a Space Shuttle - but at the Intrepid I could walk into and through one. While I couldn't sit in the all-first-class seating, I could at least see the inside in person. For me, that alone was worth the cost of admission. And if I could walk through a Space Shuttle, and see the controls and the loading bay, that would be worth twice that to me.

    The two are in the top echelon of most important aircraft of the latter half of the 20th century. I think it should be a no-brainer to put them in the same museum.

    And for those who haven't been there yet - the Concorde does not sit on the deck of the Intrepid, it is on the Pier next to it. I don't know if there is room on the Pier for a Space Shuttle, but I suspect the staff there would find room for something of that importance.
    • by goodmanj (234846) on Friday April 23, 2010 @12:13AM (#31950844)

      If the goal is to make it last 500 years -- or even 100 -- it can't be outdoors, and you DEFINITELY won't be able to crawl around inside.

      It seems to me that the Intrepid museum is a very poor choice for museum-quality long-term preservation. It doesn't have any real indoor climate-controlled space, does it?

      Of the museums I've seen, the best choice I can think of would be the the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. The Chicago museum has more available indoor floorspace than any other museum of its kind I've seen. Just move one of their full-sized locomotives, or the 707, into the corner where the John Deere combines are.

      • by adolf (21054)

        The National Museum of the USAF [af.mil], located in Dayton, OH, seems like just as good of a choice.

        It's about the same size (both claim to be about 1,000,000 square feet) as the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. And there's a request for petitioners (and money for another 200,000 square feet to house a shuttle) here [af.mil].

        The shuttle, like other Air Force projects, belongs in a building next to the SR-71, F117A, an Apollo command module, a Mercury, a Gemini, and other fun stuff of that ilk. Placing it next to a

        • by nomadic (141991)
          And traffic and parking is so much more pleasant in Dayton than Chicago...

          Ummm, there is a reason for that...
      • by PyroMosh (287149) on Friday April 23, 2010 @07:06AM (#31953066) Homepage

        Agreed. The Intrepid is a great museum, and one of my favorite places in the world. But it's very specifically a museum of durable things. Military aircraft and supersonic transports that are designed for all-weather.

        The Space Shuttle is the very definition of a Hangar Queen. It takes tens of thousands of man hours of re-fitting for each flight. The tiles are delicate, and it's not really designed to be exposed to the elements long term. It might be able to be, but given it's track record, do we really want to risk it when there are only three remaining in existence?

        Yes, they probably *could* get it into the hangar bay of the Intrepid, but given the shuttle's size, they may actually have to dismantle the ship to do so.

        The Essex Class carrier has a deck elevator with dimensions of 60 ft x 34 ft [wapedia.mobi]. It's maximum load weight was 40,000 Lbs [globalsecurity.org]. The shuttle orbiter by comparison is 122.17 ft by 78.06 ft and weighs 151,205 lb. [wikipedia.org]

        In other words, the orbiter weighs in (empty) at triple the capacity of the Intrepid's elevators. Even if they didn't use the elevators and used some kind of crane instead, it's still 78.06 ft on it's smaller dimension vs the deck opening's larger dimension which is 60 ft.

        They'd have to dismantle either the Intrepid or the orbiter to get it inside. Even if they did, the hangar deck is hardly climate controlled to begin with...

        To use the Intrepid site, they'd either have to dismantle part of the ship to get it inside, then extensively retrofit it to provide a climate controlled environment, or they'd have to build a new facility on the Pier along side Intrepid just to house the Shuttle. The Intrepid gets most of it's operating budget from admissions, memberships, and the occasional grant. I don't think it's going to go away tomorrow, but I do get the distinct impression that compared to the Smithsonian, or the Kennedy Space Center (both government funded), it's hanging on my the margins.

        The 500 year rule makes sense to me. These are invaluable pieces of human history. The Apollo Command Modules are in the same class. The National Air And Space Museum in D.C. makes sense as a location for one. They already have the Columbia module from Apollo 11 [si.edu], which I assume we would want to maintain to the same standards. However, they also already have the orbiter prototype Enterprise, so it seems to make more sense to spread the three remaining orbiters to allow as many people as possible to have access to them as possible. Perhaps one one at Kennedy Space Center, and one in Houston, and one on the West Coast somewhere?

        New York City would allow millions of people to have access. And Intrepid is the premier aerospace site in the city. But it's just not equipped or funded for something like this.

        The Aerospace museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base [af.mil] may also be appropriate, but it has a distinct military aerospace bias.

        Likewise Vandenberg Air Force Base in California could be a great site, as it was almost a second launch site for the Shuttle [wikipedia.org]. Having an orbiter wind up there permanently could be very apropos. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any museum or public exhibit at Vandenberg, which is a shame. Edwards Air Force Base [wikipedia.org] (Secondary shuttle landing site) and White Sands Space Harbor [nasa.gov] in New Mexico could be appropriate for similar reasons. But again, they're both military bases, and not terribl

        • You missed the US Space & Rocket Center [wikipedia.org] in Huntsville Alabama. It is located near to the NASA Marshall Space Center, and is where Space Camp occurs. It is one of the main museums from the von Braun era including original V2, Redstone, Jupiter and Saturn 1B and V rockets. It currently holds the shuttle mass-mock-up Pathfinder, but it would be awesome to have an actual retired shuttle at Space Camp.

          My choices would be: Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Kennedy Space Center and US Space and Rocket Center,

      • It has a huge indoor climate controlled space. The entire hangar deck is, atm, a nice, but somewhat sparse air-conditioned museum. I don't know the dimensions, though, it might be a tight squeeze, and it might not even be possible to get something the size of an orbiter in there without making temporary hull modifications to improve an opening.

        The main problem I see with the Intrepid is.. it's a boat. It's not going to last 500 years, even if the HVAC keeps getting repaired. At some point you're going t

  • Ironic.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Halster (34667)

    So it seems that the public and some elected representatives still have an enthusiasm for Space and NASA, even if legislators at the federal level don't.

    L8r.
     

  • No... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:47PM (#31950664)

    'These are going to be like the Mona Lisa,' says space historian John Logsdon

    Not really. Despite how much we like to think that we've advanced since 1969, we really haven't. I think the shuttle will be remembered like the Pentium 4, interesting, useful, but a technological dead end. Perhaps things would be different if America actually had a vision of space, but since the cold war ended we've had the worst of all worlds. Lack of willingness for the government to fund public spaceflights and lack of government cooperation for private spaceflight. Apollo will be remembered like the Mona Lisa, it was a large achievement in spaceflight. The shuttle? Unless something -major- comes out of the development of it, I think we will remember it more for Challenger and Columbia than anything else.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nmb3000 (741169)

      I agree with you except for this:

      I think the shuttle will be remembered like the Pentium 4, interesting, useful, but a technological dead end.

      Except that when Intel dropped the P4 they had something much better to replace it with. It was a planned and thought-out transition. The shuttle? No better replacement, no real plan.

      I also don't see why you'd call the vehicle itself a dead end. Why can't the design be expanded and improved?

      I think a better comparison could be between the shuttle and the Pentium 3. I

      • We do have something better than the shuttle to replace it with. Nothing. Many of us would jump at the chance to work for Nasa, but every dollar they spend is a dollar extracted from an american citizen under the threat of violence. What do they do that justifies it?

        If a donation or for-profit manned-flight organization wouldn't work, then the people would vote with their dollars what they cannot vote with their votes: they don't want it.

        Government waste sucks, even when they're wasting it on something I

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sznupi (719324)

        Shuttle can be considered a dead end because the characteristics profoundly influencing its design (ability to bring large cargo down, ability to return after few orbits to launching base, "reusability" of the EarthLEO vehicle) were found to be largely worthless. More efficient means for doing LEO while at the same time having a vehicle capable of beyond LEO operation is better (for the latter the Shuttle design is especially worthless; airframe characteristics even less useful)

        Pentium 3 (which never really

  • by SpudB0y (617458) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:52PM (#31950706)

    Why not put it somewhere that isn't nuclear terrorist target #1?

  • Seal it up in transparent lucite panels. The smithsonian could probably do it and still make the vast majority of the ship viewable by visitors.

    • by goodmanj (234846)

      I think there's no question the Smithsonian is getting one: the question is, where should the other two go?

  • I'm not sure what I think about the Mona Lisa comparison. On the one hand, the shuttles are amazing work of engineering even with all their flaws. On the other hand, it isn't like they were the first method of sending people into space. In that regard, the various space capsules matter more (and the Apollo ones especially so for allowing humans to first step foot on another planet). The shuttle's claim is merely that of being the first reusable method of space travel. That's important, but the shuttle isn't
  • by ausoleil (322752) on Friday April 23, 2010 @12:09AM (#31950812) Homepage

    I really cannot think of why New York deserves one, the city made little to no real contribution to the Shuttle program. They are simply leveraging politics to get another tourist draw for nothing. That's not a good enough reason.

    Instead of making one of the retiring orbiters a political kewpie doll, they should instead go to the following cities:

    1) Kennedy Space Center.
    It's where the launches and a large number of landings occurred, and that puts the spacecraft into context -- especially because there's a restored Saturn V hanging in the Apollo Center, the VAB and the launch pads are there, and a visitor will be able to see the launch site...not to mention ongoing space activities, whatever they are.

    2) Houston
    For many of the same reasons as KSC, Houston deserves an orbiter because it was the site of the bulk of training facilities, because it is the ongoing center for American manned space operations and because it too has a restored Saturn V to complement the orbiter.

    3) The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum
    This is the final resting place for most all of America's flighted space hardware, and an orbiter simply must join Apollo 11's capsule, the Mercury capsules, along with the other important space and aerospace artifacts. Yes, the Smithsonian currently has a flight-test body, but it could give that up in exchange for an orbiter.

    Which in turn leads me to say that the Enterprise could go to New York, although I would prefer to see it go to the west coast to a museum there so that Shuttle hardware is located across the geography of the country.

    • by goodmanj (234846) on Friday April 23, 2010 @12:25AM (#31950956)

      I agree that New York is a piss-poor choice: as I've posted elsewhere, the Intrepid is a lousy place to preserve historically-significant machinery. Outdoors in the salt air? No.

      No argument about the Smithsonian either: it's *the* federal museum.

      But I'm not sure about KSC and Space Center Houston. They've got a lot of great stuff, but I consider their mission to be primarily the business of spaceflight, with tourism and museum projects second. Also, I'd like to see key space artifacts spread around the country, both so they can inspire a wider range of people, and so that a really nasty hurricane can't wipe out *all* of our space artifacts in one go.

      Me, I'm voting for the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, which does a great job of preserving and displaying really big machinery, gets a *ton* of visitors, and could use a centerpiece like this.

      • by afidel (530433)
        Me, I'm voting for the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, which does a great job of preserving and displaying really big machinery, gets a *ton* of visitors, and could use a centerpiece like this.

        You know what, that's probably the best answer I've seen after the Smithsonian.
      • by Ogive17 (691899)
        The Air Force Museum in Dayton might also be a good option for one of them.
      • In another article they staed it would be housed INDOORS not outdoors. NYC gets tons of international visitors and EVEN has NASA offices of their own. PLus the side effect of having grumman 30 min or so away .
    • I'm 100% with your first and last choices. As far as I know, Discovery is already allocated to the NASM Udvar-Hazy Annex at Dulles, presumably to replace Enterprise (which could then be moved elsewhere). KSC is a complete no-brainer, IMHO: one of them must be there, where they spent so very much of their lives. I had a VIP tour through the Orbiter Processing Facility a few weeks ago and was almost in tears when I got to see Endeavour at extremely close quarters (and to actually touch it), thinking that thi

      • by Trepidity (597)

        Houston's space museum is quite good, but also sort of out of the way in the suburbs. It has a large "rocket park" with a bunch of things, and has tours of one of the giant pools used for low-G training, the original Apollo mission-command room, and (when not in use) the current mission-command room. The cons are mainly that it's in suburban Houston. The pros are that there isn't much in Houston, so it actually gets quite a few visitors, because it's one of the main things a tourist does if they're in south

    • by ildon (413912)

      Agree with 1 and 3. Houston I'm not sold on. A lot more people would have the opportunity to see it in NYC than Houston.

    • HUH ? Why do people who have no idea what They are talking about state things like they are fact ? I bet you didnt know that NASA has offices i nNYC, The united nations has its ofices here (There were astronauts from other countries also). JFK was one of the shuttles emergency landing sites. They could ship the shuttle by barge to nyc and make it easy to transport. Would be a lot cheaper and safer then by jumbo jet.
  • A former aircraft carrier, Intrepid...

    Former aircraft carrier? I am pretty sure it is still carrying aircraft. I guess you could say it is a "former aircraft" carrier, as the planes on her no longer fly.

  • This is really so next time they bankrupt the planet, they can escape to the moon.
  • NASA has offices in NYC. The shuttle will be housed indoors at the intrepid museum if they get it and it would fiot because JFK . Also One of the atlantic rescue crews is hosued off of long island. Also the fact that grumman who helped significantly with the Space program is on long island near nyc why not have a shuttle at the intrepid?
  • The shuttles are working space craft will full life support systems, lots of living and experiment area, windows, equipment bays and robotic arms. Why not simple add them to the space station and quadruple it's life support capacity. Sure, you need to add maybe another node and some solar panels, but they're already built and can launch themselves. And they provide another reentry method in case of an emergency. Hell, they're working space craft that can be used as actually space shuttles going to and from
  • You burnt MIR up in a forced re-entry, when it would have just as easy to park it in a safe orbit for future generations, but you want to stick this bus in a museum?

    America, your make me sick.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Wait, what did the US have to do with the decommissioning of Mir? You realize Mir was a Russian station, right?
  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Friday April 23, 2010 @10:38AM (#31955180)

    Unless they are going to put the Shuttle Indoors, this is a horrible decision. If you're ever in NY go check out Cleopatra's Needle, which has been in Central park since 1881, but were built in ancient Egypt in around 1450 BC out of solid granite.

    According to the USGS [usgs.gov]:
    The surface of the stone is heavily weathered, nearly masking the rows of hieroglyphs engraved on all sides. Photographs taken near the time the obelisk was erected in the park show that the inscriptions were still quite legible. The stone had lain in the Egyptian desert for nearly 3000 years but undergone little weathering. In a little more than a century in the climate of New York City, pollution and acid rain have heavily pitted its surfaces.

    Good luck keeping the shuttle safe on an aircraft carrier, on the ocean from crumbling in a few years.

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