According to a Canadian Press story the decision as to where the Canadarm will be located was made some time ago and that the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum was selected. Before the Canadarm can go on display though it still has one mission left with a scheduled launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour next Monday.
Canadians were not consulted but an informal poll conducted by SpaceRef indicates that 48.9% of the 638 respondents wanted the iconic Canadarm displayed in Toronto. The Canadian Air and Space Museum received the most votes with 196 or 30.72% of the votes and the Ontario Science Centre received 116 votes or 27.74% of the votes. The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa which is getting the Canadarm came second in voting with 177 votes or 27.74% of the votes.
When the Canadarm will be on display at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum is still an open question. But after Endeavour completes it’s 16 day mission to the International Space Station it must be processed before the arm can be sent back to Canada.
After Endeavour lands it will be moved to one of two Orbiter Processing Facilities NASA has at the Kennedy Space Center. Once there it can take several months to process an orbiter. The first stage includes getting it processed from its last mission and then when that’s completed prepping Endeavour for the California Science Center where it will be displayed. While in preparation for transport to the California Science Center, Endeavour’s Canadarm will be prepped for shipping to Canada.
The earliest the Canadarm could be on exhibit in Ottawa would the fall.
Editor’s note: According to the CBC no final decision has been made according to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). This contradicts the Canadian Press story. In fact a CSA representative said the Canadarm “Canadarm may continue to travel if it is in good enough condition.”