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 onboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. “New York is an ideal home for the shuttle and would allow the millions of tourists who visit every year to learn about space exploration and NASA programming,” the legislators wrote. “The space shuttle orbiters are a symbol of our nation’s — and indeed the world’s — foremost achievement in the exploration of space.” 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.""