Retired NASA Astronaut speaks to Pasco Kennewick Rotary - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Retired NASA Astronaut speaks to Pasco Kennewick Rotary

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KENNEWICK, Wash. --  Retired Astronaut Dr. Bonnie Dunbar spoke to the Pasco Kennewick Rotary Club in Kennewick this afternoon about her hopes for Washington.

Dunbar graduated from Sunnyside High School and has gone on to become an engineer and an astronaut.  She has been to space five times and once she retired in 1998 she became the CEO and President of Seattle's Museum of Flight.

Dunbar no longer works for the museum but her main goal is to bring a shuttle to it's brand new 15,500 square foot "Space Gallery" currently being built.  NASA announced plans to retire three of it's working shuttles this year and museums across the country are competing to get them for displays.

Discovery is going to the Smithsonian in Washington DC but three other shuttles, Atlantis, Endeavour and Enterprise are up for grabs.

 Dunbar says the Museum of Flight is the biggest private air and space museum in the world and nearly 40% of its visitors come from across the world.

"I personally hope that it does for young people what Apollo did for me which was to inspire me to take science and math so I could become an engineer and that's how I became an astronaut," says Dunbar.

NASA is to make a final decision by April.

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