NASA via Getty Images
File photo: In this handout image provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), space shuttle Endeavour approaches the Vehicle Assembly Building on its move from Orbiter Processing Facility-2 where it was processed for its final and upcoming STS-134 mission at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on February 28, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
NASA is giving its retiring space shuttles to museums in Cape Canaveral, Los Angeles and suburban Washington.
Twenty-one museums and visitor centers around the country put in bids for the spaceships.
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 announcement Tuesday comes on the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle flight and the 50th anniversary of man's first journey into space.
The shuttle program is winding down with only two more flights left.
© 2011 The Associated Press.