Shuttle Homes Selected

The new Shuttle homes, announced today by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden are,

As reported in the Houston Chronicle, Houston we’ve had a problem: ‘Space City’ snubbed in bid for retired space shuttle, the home of Mission Control, where 135 Shuttle missions were overseen, will not get a Shuttle. Senator Hutchison released a statement expressing her disappointment that Johnson Space Center will not be home to a Shuttle, just as it was to one of the Saturn V launchers after the end of Apollo. Also upset with NASA’s choice for Shuttle homes was the Ohio Congressional delegation.

The choice of both the California Science Center and New York City were a surprise; NYC in particular never played a noticeable role in the Shuttle program. The law allowing NASA to distribute the Shuttles stipulates priority should be given to communities with strong historical ties to NASA, and in particular the shuttle program.

As reported by Space News’ Brian Berger in “Retired Shuttles to Land In Calif., Fla, D.C. and NYC“, during his appearance at yesterday’s Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, Administrator Bolden stated, “The 10 criteria that were used by by the people that … made the recommendations to me did not include the prioritization from the law,” Bolden told Hutchison. “I was aware of it, and so I think you will find when the announcement is made that every place receiving an orbiter has a historical connection to human space flight, and in fact, I think you will find that every one of them has a historical connection to the space shuttle.

It is unlikely that Congress will waste its time worrying about NASA’s decision. If recent actions on the part of NASA’s leadership are any indication, there are other fights coming between Congress and NASA over how the Agency implements the exploration program outlined by Congress in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.

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  1. This seems insulting that a Shuttle will be retired in New York City, which has little to do with aerospace, yet not a one will find its home in Houston… the center of Shuttle operations for 30 years.

  2. It’s too bad JSC didn’t get a Shuttle. But that’s politics. The important thing is to focus not on the battle that was this loss but on the war that was saving our nation’s human space flight program, though no small effort on the part of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. With the release of the House Appropriations Bill for the remainder of the fiscal year, looking at how much more generous NASA’s Exploration budget is to the 2010 NASA Authorization Act and one can only see a future human space flight program to the Moon and beyond that is bright with possibilities.

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