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.