'Houston, we've had a problem'
April 12th, 2011
05:33 PM ET

'Houston, we've had a problem'

The idea that "home of manned spaceflight" won't be home to one of NASA's retired shuttles isn't sitting so well with some.

The Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, was considered a strong contender to receive one of four retired space shuttles.

Instead, the honors have gone to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida (Atlantis); the California Science Center in Los Angeles (Endeavour); the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia (Discovery); and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York (Enterpise), NASA administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. said Tuesday.

Many in Space City are none too pleased by the snub, considering the role it has played in the development of the nation's space program.

Columnists and blogs, including Jalopnik, are weighing in on "Why Houston Deserved a Damn Space Shuttle," and the news has prompted the Twittersphere to make #JSC, #Houston and #spaceshuttle trending topics in the hours since NASA made the announcement.

"Sad day in Houston," CopyDRcom tweeted, summing up the prevailing sentiments of disappointment over the decision, particularly among many who claim some connection to Johnson Space Center.

"As a former JSC co-op student/employee, I must say, in my most composed manner possible, WHAT THE HELL, NASA HQ? >:/" former JSC employee juliamontgomery said.

"Personally I am disappointed Houston/ JSC didn't get a Shuttle & from a space history standpoint deserved one. But again not surprised," ISS flight controller greg_forest said.

"Before astronauts ever boarded a space shuttle, they trained in Houston. When they orbited Earth, they phoned home to Houston," Lisa_llbc86 tweeted. "I have pickup truck. I'll sneak Endeavour back to #JSC. That's how we do it in TX"

Others, however,  felt the appropriate locations were selected.

"While I'm sad JSC isn't getting a orbiter, lot more people will see them in their chosen destinations :/," self-proclaimed "space nut" @ericmblog tweeted.

"#Shuttle destinations seem very reasonable. Glad #OV104 will be staying at home. 😉 Shame for #Adler, #JSC, but no perfect solution," astrodad said.

soundoff (239 Responses)
  1. Adam

    The cubs are moving to St. Louis, MO, just in..

    April 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kookmyer

    Well if Houston had prevented the 2 shuttle explosions maybe they'd get one!

    April 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marc

    I understand that Kennedy would get one. I can even understand the Smithsonian.

    Houston has earned a shuttle. period. This is insulting!

    April 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. none

    your a pos

    April 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Caryn

    if anyone denies this isn't political – they are nuts......... this should have been simple. NASA has had its home in Houston since the 50s but I guess that doesn't matter.............

    April 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Please check your facts... the forerunner to NASA was NACA, established at Langley Research Center in the 1950's.
      JSC didn't come along until 1963.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bullet

    Population on the east coast? The population center is in southern Missouri. Ironically, given Texas's growth, the center is in Texas County, Missouri. Yet 3 shuttles are w/i 5 miles of I-95.

    Houston's gay liberal Democratic mayor said she was told some time ago politics would knock Houston out. Dayton probably lost since they elected a Republican governor. They didn't even get one of the main simulators despite having the Air Force behind them. NY makes no sense when you have one in DC.

    April 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      Do you even know what an "average population center" is? I guess mathematical concepts are difficult for a redneck....

      April 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Trae

    Houston may not be a tourist destination, but it receives plenty of visitors. It's Space Center Museum is more visited than the Interprid in NYC. Houston has space shuttles on its police/firemen logos. The Houston ROCKETS, Houston ASTROS, the ASTRODOME, etc. It's a no-brainer to have had one in Houston, but politics had to get involved with this. NYC had absolutely nothing to do with the space program. Nothing. The widowed spouses of the astronauts killed in the Challenger and Columbia disaster (they resided in Houston, btw, and family still does) are devastated. What a slap in the face. This would have been a good way for the Dems and Obama to gain more confidence and votes in Texas. Now, they just turned a hell of a lot of people off here, including their supporters (like me).

    April 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Byron E. Brown

    I was born in CA and now live in Oregon, I don't like Texas much but I agree that Houston deserved one on the shuttles becasue of its past, present and future contributions to the space program. They got screwed.

    April 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. International Student...fed up of Communist Obama!!!!

    OBAMA – Murderer of American Dream aka Capitalism!!!!

    On another note, the only reason Ms. Obama and Ms. Biden are NOW thinking of taking round of country to appease Military families is blatantly to campaign for Obama, but the gullible Republicans and the charlatan Press don't see that! Did Mrs. Bush ever campaign for Mr. Bush?? I don't think so. OBAMA HAS BEEN EITHER ON VACATION, GOLFING, HANDLING OUT FREEBIES FOR VOTES IN RETURN OR CAMPAIGNING EVER SINCE HE BECAME PRESIDENT!!!! NO OBAMA IN 2012 PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

    April 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Please go back to whatever country you came from... as fast as you can please.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • twistedpickle

      Wrong topic... wrong forum... not your president ...and... it's none of your damn business. If you don't like it, get back on the cropduster you flew in. Don't let the door hit your a$$ on the way out.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. J

    Shame on NASAfor making the only shuttle that Texas gets the one that landed in pieces. There should have been no doubt that both JSC and Kennedy would be getting one – but once again Washington is playing politics.

    April 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rich Morris

    We have two wrecked shuttles why not put them on display

    April 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave in Altmar

    "Hello, Houston? Call a WAAAAAAmbulance!"

    April 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nic

    NY should have been skipped and TX get it instead. Then there would be two on the east coast, one in TX, and one on the west coast. Atleast the shuttle landed at Edwards AFB in Cali on numerous occasions. Makes more sense.

    April 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MKP

    Obama doesn't have a damn thing to do with selecting these sites, give me a break. I don't like him either but people blame him for everything under the sun. "Oh no, the weather just took a turn for the worse, remember this in Nov 2012!"

    April 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JeremyH2

      So, the fact that NASA is on his "to cut" list has nothing to do with these choices?

      It doesnt feel so good having "your guy" blamed for everything, does it? Dont worry, it gets worse when he's gone.....haha!

      April 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • MKP

      lol who is "my guy?" I could give a rat's ass about O, I didn't vote for him. Nothing changes the fact that he didn't dictate where shuttles go. but you are correct, people see what they want to see, I guess there's no helping them.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. raymunchel

    How about Wright Patterson Air Force Base??
    John Glenn, Neil Armstrong. Give love to middle america.

    April 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • International Student...fed up of Communist Obama!!!!

      Sure no problem...anything that is GOOD for America, I am all for that! I think love for true Americanism is gone...what is left is giving freebies and asking for votes......and Obama is an epitome of that example!!!! He's turning this country into SOCIALIST/COMMUNIST COUNTRY WHERE WE SHARE OUR WEALTH...why would that inspire people to work hard??

      April 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
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