'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. Jim

    Get over it Texas, California takes the Cake.
    No contest.
    Howard Hughes may be buried in Houston, but his best work was done in Los Angeles.
    Texas, Take a hike.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      We can all pray that a major earthquake hits California and shove that sorry state into the ocean.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Washawk

    What about Boeing here in Seattle? Makes no sense that there's no space shuttle out in the northwest whereas all 4 of them are in the most populated pats of the country. I'm sorry about Houston but at least u guys don't have to travel as far away as we folks up here would have to. In fact I've given up, I don't think I'm gonna see any of the space shuttles being out here in the Northwest. It's not like I can afford to travel to NYC or DC or even LA so often. I am NOT looking for a firestorm. Just a little disappointed that there's no balance of space shuttles especially when you consider that there's going to be two of them within 2 hours of each other in DC and NY. That's very ridiculous to me....

    April 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jim

    Why not take a couple of the Shuttles and piggy back them to different cities for a short time and move onto other cities. Kinda like the traveling memorial?

    April 12, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ben in LA

    Purely for access to the public, they should be geographically dispersed. Three on the east coast and one in california, hm.... Florida, Texas, California and the northeast makes sense. Make DC and NY play rock paper scissors...

    April 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ron Jeremy

    The fact was Houston's proposal lacked the same kind of funding commitments to building a museum around the orbiters.
    LA was prepared to spend at least tens of millions to hundreds of millions to make it happen.

    Texas didn't make a deep enough commitment.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Should Houston get the shuttle sure why not. Your right Texas are a bunch of , redneck, unedcuated racist white people that still have slaves and, we also have nothing but illegal aliens getting drunk causing problems. What crazy how did these uneducated people in Texas have created more jobs than any other states combined. They out perform the "Smart" ones. How does Texas and Houston is one of the best places to live during the recession? No way a bunch of uneducated out smart the "smart" states. What crazy is about Houston is hasn't been hit with a recession, unemployment is low, housing market is stable. 1/3 of your gas is refined in the Houston area by a bunch of uneducated rednecks. Houston has the best medical center in the nation. Not bad by a bunch of uneducated doctors. Maybe Texans should not worry about protecting the borders from the south. Maybe Texas needs to worry about the borders from up north. It is time to become our own country once again "Texas can surive without the United States, The United States can't surive without Texas"-Sam Houston You don't think that true, you will be buying our gas from us because the "Smart" states hasn't built a refinery in over 35 plus years. Not only will you be buying our crude oil, but you will be buying the gas also. We could once again drill in the gulf without getting permission from a Tyrant like Obama! Ron Paul for President of the Republic of Texas!

      April 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      How does a state like CA. spend millions of dollars if they are broke. CA has no money! The US tax payers had to bail out the state of CA! So they use our tax dollars to get the shuttle? Your right Texas didn't spend "millions" of dollars because we don't have it! Oh yeah how much is your state income tax? Mine is 0%. How much are you paying for gas? How much does a average house cost in LA? What is the unemployment rate in CA? Sounds like CA need to use my money more responsible than to blow it on a Space Shuttle Museum.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • twistedpickle

      Baloney. Houston has the JSC visitor's center. There is already a facility there and ample space for the orbiter.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      Texas is broke to the tune of $27 billion over the next fiscal year. How would THEY have paid for it?

      April 14, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Shiggity

    Houston we have a problem....

    April 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MontanaBoy

    It's simple...Houston is an armpit, NY is a mega-tourist destination.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Montana dude half your state is own by one person. Second my city alone has 10x amount of people than your whole state combined. Let the grown up talk,

      April 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Realismo

    Here's a fair trade: Houston should get a Shuttle, and in return should pay back the billions of $ of our tax dollars that created government jobs via NASA. "Houston" didn't create the space program– American dollars did. I'm tired of these spoiled red state ingrates thinking they deserve MORE just because their politicos already managed to squeeze so much out of the US taxpayer already.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • No respect

      Actually, if you studied US History, you would know that Houston is in fact where JFK made the famous speech to challenge the US to send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. You would also know that during the 40s and 50s, Texas was one of the major players for test pilots and in fact, many of the Mercury 7 astronauts were from Texas and still live in Texas. Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell retired and lives outside of Austin. Deke Slayton, Mercury 7 astronaut and director during most of the 70s, retired and lived in Houston until he passed. Houston named it's sports teams Astros, Rockets, Comets, Aeros – all because the space program has been deeply rooted in this community. Many space companies who are now going to independent flight are HQd out of Houston.

      April 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • No respect

      BTW, why the double standard where Houston should pay but the others get a free ride? Based on your statement that Houston somehow didn't earn it but yet we spent all the money? Are you talking about NASA – where the majority of funding went to all the other centers – Houston was next to last in funding – or are you making some Bush reference (FYI, he isn't from Houston and didn't win Houston in the election).

      April 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mogu

    I am from Houston AKA Cow-Town. I lived in DC and CA as well, and I am glad that the shuttle is going there. I can tell you that in Cow-Town, there are not enough people to appreciate the technological marvel of the space shuttle. Texans are not very smart and the test scores of our Texan boys and girls prove it. Houston Cow Town is especially dumb. Don't feel bad for us Cow Town people as we have our goats and cows to look at.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mAGI


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

    I love the moon... it looks like cheese... cheese is fun and makes me toot! i love rollerskating in Houston... WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
    California makes me toot too!!!! TOOT TOOT

    April 12, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DJ

    hey guys in Houston, let the next mission shuttle crash...would serve them right.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. acre44

    It is cool that Houston doesnt get it. Let them take pride in their location where things seem always to go wrong

    April 12, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Richard in Chattanooga

    Houston should just consider themselves lucky that Lyndon Johnson, decided to put the Space program there in the first place.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • The United 49

      @ Richard;

      When it came time to choose a location for the Space Program, JFK from Massachusetts chose the coast of Florida because it made sense, when LBJ wanted to move the Mission Control Center from Florida, he chose Texa*s NOT because it was the best location, but because Texans Could profit from it!

      April 12, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • No respect

      Seriously?! You are wanting to holding this generation to decisions made almost 50 years ago.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • CH

      You have no clue what you are talking about Richard. Florida was chosen as it was in a temperate climate that could launch out over the Atlantic. Mission Control was put in Houston as it too has a warm climate and while we still have our Hurricanes, we don't get hammered like Florida. Not to mention Rice University donated the land where the Johnson Space Center is located.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
    • No respect

      Actually, JFK made his famous speech with the challenge to send a man to the moon before the decade is out from Rice University in Houston in 1962. Rice donated the land based on JFK and the decision was made before LBJ was ever in office. lBJ just got to christen the facility.

      April 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. midnitejax

    Yes, California would make a great choice for a sapce shuttle, because nothing spells tourism like a drought, followed by a flood and mudslide, followed by a firestorm, and a good old fashioned earthquake. Take the wife out to a five star dinner in Watts, and give the kiddies some razor blades so they can play on the many highways that twist and wind thru out the traffic jammed countryside.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
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