Sunday, October 2, 2011

Houston Still Wants a Shuttle

Houston's orbiter proposal showed very little detail. Source: Space Center Houston.

Florida Today columnist John Kelly writes that Houston is still scheming to take away the orbiter Enterprise from the U.S.S. Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York.

A small band of politicos, mostly Texans, are raising a stink that the consolation prize, test flight model Enterprise, ended up in New York, not Houston.

Texas feels slighted and the state’s political leaders are not giving up. They’ve even proposed legislation in Congress that would undo NASA’s decision and shift the Enterprise from New York to Houston. That legislation has not gone anywhere in Congress, and likely will not.

I wrote about this on July 21, so I won't regurgitate my comments again.

But I will note that Space Coast representatives Sandy Adams and Bill Posey co-sponsored legislation that would have given to Congress (i.e. themselves) the decision to assign the orbiters.

Click here to read the audit that vindicated the orbiter selection process.

UPDATE October 2, 2011 8:30 AM EDTThe New York Times on September 29 reported that the Intrepid museum may build a new facility next to the U.S.S. Intrepid rather than at the end of the pier where the warship is berthed.

The museum’s president, Susan Marenoff-Zausner, said in an interview that she envisioned a museum “with the shuttle as the primary tenant” but also with classrooms and laboratories for teaching schoolchildren and others about science and technology. “It would be a museum on that side of the highway, which we think could be a linchpin in beautifying the area,” she said.

This led a columnist for a Houston-area newspaper to falsely claim:

... They’d like to place one of Houston’s finest next to a strip club; grab a bagel, see the shuttle, catch a lap dance. Makes perfect sense.

Quite the brazen claim, considering Enterprise was never "Houston's" in the first place.

The Houston Chronicle also has an article on local efforts to seize Enterprise from New York.

Houston-area House members returning to Capitol Hill next Monday said they plan to seek a congressional oversight hearing to delve into NASA’s decision making process as well as explore using the ongoing appropriations process to include language in spending legislation that could force NASA to reopen the decision.

Good luck with that.

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