The Air Force museum has yet to hire a contractor to build a payload bay and tail section assembly as part of the mockup, she said. Congress has set aside $3 million for the project.
The trainer was kept in Johnson Space Center’s Space Vehicle Mockup Facility for more than three decades.
Construction on the new Air Force museum hangar is expected to begin next year and open in 2014. It will house the Space Galley, Presidential Aircraft Gallery and Global Reach Galley. Officials have raised more than $38 million of the $48 million for needed to pay for the expansion.
The museum attempted to land one of the three retired shuttle orbiters, but NASA chose to send the spacecraft to Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and the California Science Museum in Los Angeles. A test flight vehicle, the Enterprise, never flew in space but was transferred from the National Air and Space Museum to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, a former aircraft carrier moored in New York City.