A recipe of blurbs by a hungry dad-filled with sarcasm, truth, and a dash of that rare ingredient, common sense.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Houston We Have Another Problem

Unless you live in a cave in Afghanistan, then you have heard of NASA. As you know the space shuttle program is coming to an end this summer and will no long be flying missions for NASA.

Sometime back a decision was made to allow the four remaining space shuttles to go to various locations to be used as displays for the public. At least 20 US cities were in contention to have one of the shuttles delivered to them once the program ended and the fleet is retired.

Well on Tuesday the head of NASA announced what cities would be getting a shuttle. The four cities getting an orbiter are: Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the California Science Center in Los Angeles, and the Intrepid Sea, Air, And Space Museum in New York City.

Yes you read that correctly, Houston was not among the four cities which I just listed.

I can understand why the Kennedy Space Center is getting one as that is the site of the launches for the space shuttles (and all manned space flight for the US as well). They also have a great museum there for tourists which covers the entire 40 plus years of the space program. I can see why they are getting a space shuttle.

I can also understand why the Smithsonian Institution is getting one as that is a huge air and space museum. I mean they have the Wright Brothers airplane which was the first one to ever fly. They also have Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St Louis” plane which was the first airplane to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. So I get why this place was chosen as a location.

However I don’t understand why the fuck New York City got a retired space shuttle. Can you please tell me one thing that New York City has to do with NASA and manned space flight? I know that the Intrepid has some capsules from the Apollo and Mercury programs because it took part in the sea recovery of them. But did a shuttle land on the fucking Intrepid? The answer is no. So please tell me how the fuck New York City has a retired space shuttle.

How did Los Angeles get a shuttle? I know some of the design work for the shuttle program was done in California. Outside of Hollywood making movies about NASA, please tell me how in the fucking world Los Angeles got a retired space shuttle?

When you think of NASA and the space program, what city comes to your mind as number one? 






Jack Swigert did not say during the Apollo 13 mission, “New York we’ve had a problem.” Nor did he say “Los Angeles we’ve had a problem.”

Jack Swigert said, “Houston we’ve had a problem.”

That quote right there is easily in the top ten of quotations of all time. Not just movie quotes, but quotes outside of movies. People all over the world know of that quote and the events of Apollo 13.

The Johnson Space center in Houston is both the heart and brain center of NASA. Since NASA was started it has been the training center for all of the astronauts. All of them as well as all of their families have lived here within in minutes of NASA. In addition to training the astronauts, Houston has served as mission control for the manned space program. As soon as a shuttle or rocket gets an inch off of the ground, mission control in Houston takes over. In addition to that, most of the design work for the shuttles was done here in Houston and all of the contractors involved are here as well.

Johnson Space Center already has a first class museum and visitor’s center called “Space Center Houston” which has various exhibits and tours. It is not like something had to be built here, it already has the facilities to host the shuttle. Johnson Space Center is the second most visited place in the State of Texas behind the Alamo in case you didn't know (on a side note I know for a fact that the museum in California is not the 2nd most visited thing in that state). 

If you ask someone from outside of Texas to name two things about Houston, they will all say something about Oil/Gas and NASA.

So how has Houston been left out of the mix? I have no idea.

Do you want my personal opinion here? Well you are getting it anyways.

I smell politics. You see Texas is a Republican state and both New York and California are Democrat states. Hmm seems obvious to me. Still not convinced? President Obama two years ago killed the future of NASA by defunding the future moon missions and the mission to Mars. He killed the oil industry with the drilling moratorium. And now we don’t get a space shuttle.

Now I don’t know if politics is the reason why Houston is not getting a retired space shuttle or not, but when you combine all of that together it seems obvious to me that our current administration is no fan of anything "Texas" related.

Regardless of the reason why Houston was not selected, this city was more deserving than Los Angeles and New York City were to housing a retired space shuttle. 

This is a huge slap in the face to Houston.


  1. Didn't know about the 4 shuttles but you are right about the politics and the other locations, it's bleeding shameful Houston is not getting one.

  2. Titusville, Florida.
    The city built around the Florida space program and soon to be a ghost town with a shitload of layoffs and the local housing market looking like crap. I am biased since my Father in law worked at NASA for 40 years.
    I do agree with you on Houston - you were screwed without any KY
    NYC????? why I have no idea.
    Cheers, Sausage...

  3. WTF?? We, Texans, don't get a freakin retired shuttle?? That's just effin stupid as hell!! I love going to the Space Center. It's one of the coolest places in Texas! Houston is more deserving. When it comes to NASA it's the only city that comes to mind.

  4. Houston should get one - the Smithsonian has one (just not in the Space Museum on the National Mall - it has it's own wing at their second museum).

  5. Politics? Come on! It's never about politics.

    OK it is. It always is.

    I have never big on the whole NASA thing, but it does seem pathetic to give a shuttle to LA and New York City over Houston.

  6. it is just a fucking shame...

  7. California got one because of JPL, and because shuttles often land in California. I'm baffled by New York. I think NASA made a political move, and put the shuttles in the highest metropolitan areas, for a share in the tourist revenue...

  8. I love a good conspiracy theory. Sounds like Houston got hosed. Sorry love, that sucks!

  9. @ Lurker, yep.

    @ Lass, who?

    @ Sausage, I have no problem with Florida getting one as I stated above. One of my uncles has worked there on the shuttle since the program started so I know all about it.

    @ Laynee, yep you said it.

    @ Laughingmom, yep.

    @ Ruth, exactly!!!

    @ Bruce, yes it is.

    @ Lost, people don't go visit JPL like they do Johnson Space Center.

    @ Randomgirl, I don't think it is a conspiracy theory. It smells like shit so it must be shit is what I think.

  10. We didn't get one in Yorkshire either, the twats.

  11. I was throwing a fit at the TV over this one as well. NYC?!? Are you freaking joking?!?!?!
    Kennedy, Smithsonian, Houston and my backyard would have been the obvious choices. (Ya know, because my kids are without a sturdy playground currently, and we can't be arsed to build a new one.)
    Still can't figure out why they cut the program to begin with. I mean if you want to save money, make Congressmen and Reps work on a volunteer basis, they certainly aren't doing a bloody thing up there except fighting like a bunch of 4-year olds anyway.

  12. I really don't like this at all. I am a HUGE fan of the space program. I agree that it's a big slap in the face for Houston. I mean really... Houston got left out? When I think of the space program it is definitely Houston and Florida.

    Maybe a petition could change it up? I honestly don't understand the whole NY thing anyway. That place is already full of concrete and idiots. Why add something to attract more idiots? If they are going to NY to see a shuttle then they don't know anything about the program to begin with nor will they learn.

    just a little soapbox for ya... carry on.

  13. There is no logic to sending one to NY. Zero. Houston should have one. Period. End of Story. LA and NY are both BS places to send them. Really this is a shame.

  14. I could see wanting one on both coasts, but the Smithsonian should suffice for the east coast location. Who the hell is going to go to NY or LA to see a space shuttle? Houston was BLATANTLY slapped in the face over this one. Damn politics. Someone should be raising hell over this!

  15. @ Tony, but Yorkshire has some decent looking women so we are even.

    @ Ranchermom, I could not agree more.

    @ Rosie, you are very correct in what you said.

    @ Manager, yep you said it.

    @ Krissy, very true.

  16. I'm not from Houston or Texas for that matter and I feel outraged for you. That IS a huge slap in the face. If anyone should have kept a shuttle it should HOUSTON. Who decided on this anyway? I would say someone needs to nix Cali or NY and send that shuttle south. Sorry my friend.

  17. Los Angeles is the #1 tourist destination, that's probably why LA gets one. As someone who lives in LA though, I think it's a bit of a waste as nobody really cares.

  18. That's pretty jacked up that Houston isn't getting one. I think you're on to something with the whole politics and Obama not being a big fan of Texas. Don't forget that the president before him is from Texas too. That's probably just one more reason he's not a fan of Texas.

  19. @ Cake, yep I agree.

    @ Jung, but people don't go to LA or anywhere in Cali to see anything related to the space program.

    @ Hannah, yes it is. And I forgot about the Bush's being from here.

  20. It's pretty outrageous. It should have been Houston & Florida first and others as an after thought.

  21. Looks like it's more a tourism based idea. Those cities getting shuttles have HUGE tourism... bigger visibility. BUT this being said, I do agree with you, Houston should appear a logical choice.

    Bummer dude.

  22. Great post - I always like using the phrase "Houston we have lift off" (I did recently in a post) - but now...well, poor Houston, things just won't be the same.

    Funny the logic of some 'supposedly' logical people.

    Cheers, Jenny

  23. You'd think Houston, of course, without needing to say so. But idiots control the shit these days.

  24. I agree - Houston should have one.

  25. @ Ts, that is what "common sense" says.

    @ Nikki, those cities already have a ton of stuff to see and do without adding to it. LA is a town that now has 3 basketball teams, 2 baseball teams, 2 hockey teams, two colleges, and yet can't get an NFL team. Sports aside here, history should have trumped this decision.

    @ Pearson, thank you. I forgot about that quote used all the time.

    @ Brandy, yep you said it correctly.

  26. This seems like total crap that Houston got passed over...whether it was an oversight or just them pandering to major population centers it seems idiotic.

    I can't believe how space exploration has been put on such a backburner by the US administrations ever since the 60's. I'm still waiting on our promised Star Trek lifestyles...where the hell is my personal transporter?!?!? LOL

  27. That is totally effed up and most likely insulting to everyone involved with the space center in Houston.

  28. Awesome post! I am mad Houston was left out. Everyone the whole world around knows about Houston because of the space program and those 5 little words uttered (yes, I had to count). Trust me, I know, I live in Germany and when I tell them I am from Houston, they Looooove to say. Great rant on the subject. Randomly came over to your blog and glad I did. All the best getting a retired shuttle!

  29. BTW - please go check my latest post :)

  30. @ K, thank you.

    @ Tav, I agree. I am still waiting on that as well so I don't have to poop anymore.

    @ Empress, yes it is.

    @ Texa, thank you very much.

    @ Rosie, ok I will check it out.

  31. Mannnn, that's wicked messed up!
    It only confirms my suspicions: that we're giving Houston back to Mexico.

  32. *Deep Sigh*. :(
    Happy belated Yuri's night.

  33. one of these days i'm actually going to go visit kennedy space center

  34. So sorry oil. You know I called to get one for Detroit. Those bastards said no and I qoute "Detroit you are a problem". I was gonna hook that bitch up to the people mover and hit hockeytown, Tiger stadium and the mofo indian casino. No I really can't stop at Ford field for the Lions game it just doesn't fit in the schedule. Sonsabitches anyways!!

  35. Well, as much as I love space and I'm a bit nerdy when it comes to space.. I think cutting funding to it makes sense. Like, we can't feed everyone in our country but hey- let's fly to the moon for no real reason. Financially it makes no sense. But you're right- Houston should absolutely have some shuttle pieces or whatever. My guess is that CA and NY are just better ass kissers and it's not really about D or R. I mean, that's how it is for everything with limited release... the place that can woo the project and/or be able to show that it would make a better placement gets it.

  36. @ Al, it has already happened.

    @ Antares, yep.

    @ Becca, from what I remember it is pretty nice.

    @ Bushman, that is hilarious. I thought it was funny that more people showed up to see the Vikings "home" game than they did for Lions games.

    @ Sara, the funding issue is a different thing for me (we most money on way more stupid shit than Nasa). But yes Houston should have one.

  37. Hey, NYC needs it. That's going to be the design for our next Yellow Cabs.

  38. From a fellow Texan: That is some b.s. Man, that royally ticks me off!!! Texas is getting slapped in the face...but, you know, it's okay--Texas can hold its own just fine, no matter how much they throw at it.

    My BFF talks all the time about a red state/blue state prejudice.

  39. That's messed up. I will personally boycott the NYC and CA shuttles in protest.

  40. Sorry Oilfield,
    Houston was going to get the Columbia shuttle...


  41. It doesn't have anything to do with politics. NYC and LA are the biggest cities in the US, so there you have it.

    I don't agree, though. Even coming from Dallas and looking down upon dirty, smelly Houston...I don't agree with it.

    More than a few astronauts have died while serving their country in the space program, and like you said, most if not all of them live or have lived in Houston. There are a few widows and widowers there.

    It seems logical that they change their minds on NYC. The east coast will have one in Florida and another in DC. You can't just give the entire western USA the finger, so yeah, go ahead and put one in California.

  42. Hey Oil,
    Loved your post so much I linked you up over at A Simple Life! Well done!!

  43. @ Copyboy, if NYC can get cab drivers that don't smell bad then maybe they can get a shuttle.

    @ Virgin, yes it does stink.

    @ Cajun, those two places were never on my list of places to visit so I hear you.

    @ Anonymous, technically some of the Columbia did fall inside of the county here were Nasa is located.

    @ Sham, I don't care that they are big cities as that is irrelevant in my mind.

    @ Mynx, yes it is.

    @ Bushman, thank you sir I will have to check it out.

  44. I don't care either but that is a more likely explanation for why these cities were selected. I don't know what the greater metro population for those areas are. I'm thinking 12 million people or more for both of them. They're huge and that's just the most likely reason they got space shuttles. Not politics. The Democrats are going to win in NYC and LA no matter what. They didn't need to put space shuttles there. But there are competitive districts in and around Houston, so if politics were a concern it would make even more sense to put one in Houston.

    Anyway I think it was a big mistake, just as you do. We just differ on how we think the mistake came to be made.

  45. @ Sham, they will have 3 on the East coast alone. 2 of which will be less than a 3 hour drive from each other. No logic in that at all, hence why I said politics had to have something to do with it.

  46. Living close to LA and all I don't see any reason AT ALL why we should be getting the real shuttle. We should only get some sort of model at best.

    I've been to that museum and yes it's alright but definitely not the best place to put a freaking space shuttle!

  47. @ Ditz, I have heard the same thing from a few other of my friends who live on the coast as well.


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