'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. J

    No orbiter at JSC? Just plane wrong.

    April 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jean-Paul Sartre

    Houston would be a great home for LITTLE MAN and FAT BOY...

    April 12, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • David


      April 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bz_sleeper

    meanwhile... the citizens of New York just woke up and were like, shuttle, what's that?

    April 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. larry

    What does New York City have to do with the Space shuttle and exploration in space? Houston is home to the nation's space program, it is where all the nation's astronauts trained and lived, a lot of former astronauts still live in Clear Lake area and the families who lost their loved one's during the space shuttle disaster. Houston will soon pass Chicago as the nation's third largest city and for the Texas haters out there, get over it. Texas passed New York years ago as the nation's second most populous state and Californians are moving to Texas in droves. Chicago and New York are losing people and Texas and Houston are gaining them, so what does that tell people about Texas and Houston! Texas and Houston are where the jobs are, and will continue to grow and prosper while California, Illinois and New York will eventually collapse from their enormous debt and shrinking economies. Clear Lake would have been the logical choice for one of the space shuttles, but then again, it was politics that really determined the sites chosen. New York and Washington are not far from each other, so again, it was a poor choice for New York to be chosen. The new King of the South is Houston, and it will continue to get bigger and more influential as Oil is King and Houston is the the Oil and Energy Capital of the World!

    April 12, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Texas will be absorbed by Mexico soon.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      I'm sorry Larry, but isn't Texas $27 billion in the hole (deficit) over the next two years.

      April 14, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. knightforx

    Houston obviously deserved a shuttle. That said, does anyone see the karma associated with naming the recipients BEFORE ALL THE MISSIONS ARE COMPLETE? After all, we've lost two shuttles, one on the way up, and one on the way down. If it was me, I'd wait until they were all safely back home, and THEN consider where they might be retired. Just an idea...

    April 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • No respect

      That's what I was thinking! If Mission Control doesn't work enough with the shuttle to deserve one, then run the rest of the missions from Kennedy. I live in Clear Lake, TX. Deke Slayton lived next door to me when I was a kid. I went to school with the kids of challenger. We have cheered each NASA success and we have lived with mourning of losses, long after the rest of the country has moved on. This community is NASA. We didn't vote Bush. We work long hours and make subpar wages because we love our work. We don't make oil money. We didnt vote for Perry. We love the shuttle program. We deserved better.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Trae

    For those that think the Northeast is the center of the US population...well, think again: http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site333/2011/0324/20110324__USCensusPopulationCenter~p4.jpg

    April 12, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Wakeup321

    The only thing Obummer knows about manned space flight is... HOW TO SHUT IT DOWN!
    We can't go to the moon cause we've already been there... VILLAGE IDIOT!
    Nasa Outreach program for_Muslims... YOU SHAME AMERICA!
    Now no shuttle for Houston... SLAP IN THE FACE!


    April 12, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      You are obviously from the South you don't know any facts and you cannot put together a decent sentence.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • eye2

      Y'all from Texas by any chance?

      April 12, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. formernasaemployee

    Shame on you, Charlie Bolden. Don't come home. More than likely you've already got a job lined up at one of those other museums, though right?

    Houston was the first word spoken from the moon. The astronauts live and train here. The missions and the space station are run from HERE. We are the MANNED SPACEFLIGHT CENTER.

    This was all about politics, not who was most deserving. There is no reason that one of those East Coast Shuttles could not have ended up here.

    Now they say that even the full scale mockups are being taken away from Houston and sent to "another" museum. We don't even get to keep the replica of the spacecraft we designed, built and trained. Houston will remember this in 2012.

    April 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Steve851

    Everyone in flyover American should be mad about putting them all on the coasts.

    April 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. NJMarc

    Oh well, no one likes Texas except Texans. Maybe this'll be another reason to secede. What a loss, lol, yea right.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      ha ha ah!!

      April 12, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • No respect

      Texas – home of more corporate HQ in the US than any other state; home of many IT companies as Austin is often considered another silicon valley; home of the fourth largest city in the US; home of SXSW film festival.
      NJ – home of Snooki.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rob

    Let's face it the South still thinks the Earth is 6000 yrs old and evolution is wrong. They think that if God wanted man to fly he given us wings....really their are places in the U.S. where kids and adults actually appreciate science don't waste it on the South.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Georgia B.

    Absolutely, so disappointing for Houston. I'm still in shock, but considering the present adm. I'm not surprised. This is another perfect example why Obama will not, not be re-elected. This decision is so embarrassing for our country. Everyone statewide, nation wide and world wide knows that Houston should have been awarded a national treasure like the retiring shuttles.. Just another big mistake by our present Washington DC government. So very, very sad.........and so obvious.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron Jeremy

      Rick Perry wasn't in the mood to fight for it.
      His state budgets had jack squat.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Astro Ed

    I spent many wonderful years working on the Apollo program and the initial shuttle program. I did so in Houston and at
    'The Cape'. I am very pleased that Atlantis will reside in Florida, where the 'heavy lifting' was mostly accomplished, but
    Houston surely deserved to have one of the awesome craft. This is an absolute failure in priority by NASA, most likely dictated by petty politics and future funds pandering. The leadership of NASA is certainly not of the caliber that it once
    was. This decision pretty well nullifies the pride in the awards and commendations that I received for my contributions.
    Very sad, indeed.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • twistedpickle

      I spent many years there at JSC too. This is a low blow to all the astronauts, contractors, and all the hard working people behind the scene in Houston that made the STS a success. Our space program would not be what is is today without MCC-H!

      April 12, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sad Day

    I can see spreading them around the country but NY & Virgina are too close to one another. Besides, the Smithsonian already has one. Now its gonna have two?

    April 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. No respect

    Did NYC need another attraction?! It doesn't make sense having shuttles in both DC and NYC.

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