Retired Shuttle Will Not Land In Houston
April 12, 2011

City of  Houston officials along with families of the Challenger and Columbia Shuttles are no doubt disappointed that NASA did not award a retiring orbiter to our area.

NASA announced the shuttles will go to Los Angeles, Florida, New York and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

UPDATES WITH STATEMENT FROM FAMILIES OF CHALLENGER AND COLUMBIA SHUTTLES: 

We are heartbroken to learn of the decision that the Space Shuttle will not be allowed to return home to Houston. Home is where the heart is, and Houston has served as the heart of the space shuttle program since its inception nearly four decades ago. All the astronauts lost were Houston’s residents. We again share a collective loss as a result of the political decision to send the space shuttle elsewhere. We had prayed that the incredible sacrifices this community has endured would have allowed the shuttle’s legacy to continue here. Although we disagree with this decision, we will persevere in our support of space exploration, just as we have done in the past. 

Evelyn Husband Thompson
Jonathan Clark
Sandy Anderson
Lorna Onizuka
Cheryl McNair

Houston Mayor Annise Parker along with Republicans Senator John Cornyn and Congressman John Culberson also released the following statements.

Mayor Parker Issues Statement on Shuttle Decision

“This is certainly disappointing, but not entirely unexpected as the Administration has been hinting that Houston would not be a winner in this political competition.  I am disappointed for Houston, the JSC family and the survivors of the Columbia and Challenger missions who paid the ultimate price for the advancement of space exploration.  There was no other city with our history of human space flight or more deserving of a retiring orbiter.  It is unfortunate that political calculations have prevailed in the final decision.”

Cornyn Statement On Administration’s Failure To Retire Orbiter To Rightful Home In Houston 

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, today issued the following statement regarding NASA’s rejection of the Johnson Space Center in Houston as one of the retirement locations for their orbiter fleet: 

“Like many Texans, I am disappointed with NASA’s decision to slight the Johnson Space Center as a permanent home for one of the Space Shuttle Orbiters. Houston has played a critical role throughout the life of the space shuttle, but it is clear political favors trumped common sense and fairness in the selection of the final locations for the orbiter fleet. 

“There is no question Houston should have been selected as a final home for one of the orbiters—even Administrator Bolden stated as much. Today’s announcement is an affront to the thousands of dedicated men and women at Johnson Space Center, the greater Houston community and the State of Texas, and I’m deeply disappointed with the Administration’s misguided decision.”

 Statement on Retiring Orbiters  

“For the last 50 years, Houston has been in the business of sending its citizens into space, and we’re proud of the vehicles that our men and women pilot into the unknown.  And so it is that Space City, USA is bereaved of one of its greatest contributions to humanity and the progress of science.”

Washington, DC – Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) issued the following statement on the placement of the retiring Space Shuttle Orbiters:

“Today NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden announced that Houston will not receive one of the retiring Space Shuttle Orbiters.  It is sad and unfortunate that politics played such an obvious role in the placement of theses retiring Orbiters. The thought of an Orbiter not coming home to rest at Space Center Houston is truly tragic.  It is analogous to Detroit without a Model-T, or Florence without a da Vinci. 

“For the last 50 years, Houston has been in the business of sending its citizens into space, and we’re proud of the vehicles that our men and women pilot into the unknown.  And so it is that Space City, USA is bereaved of one of its greatest contributions to humanity and the progress of science.”

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