Monday, April 11, 2011

Bring the Shuttle Home, Houston!

I can't think of any other place, except perhaps Kennedy Space Center in Florida, that deserves to have one of the retired space shuttles more than Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.   In fact, I'm quite surprised that we have to even have such a discussion.  After all, Mission Control is in Houston.  Most of the astronauts live in Houston.  The astronauts who died in shuttle disasters - they lived here along with their families.   The astronauts train in Houston.  Most of the design, development, and overall planning for each project has been done in Houston.  It only makes sense!  Join the movement!

Members of the task force weigh in at the Houston Chronicle:
As part of its commitment to housing a flown orbiter, Space Center Houston will develop a new state-of-the-art, 53,000-square-foot orbiter exhibit featuring interactive, educational experiences that will encourage student interest and commitment to STEM education. The theme for the exhibit will be the human side of shuttle operations, including astronaut activities and what they accomplished on the shuttle. 

Houston will also establish a new Space Shuttle Education Foundation to fund the attendance cost of all validated education groups. There are tremendous educational benefits to all the children who visit NASA Johnson Space Center daily. Space science is abstract and a challenge for many students to comprehend. The presence of a space shuttle would serve as the catalyst to promote understanding and inspiration. National science standards prescribe aviation and solar science in many states as a basis of state curricula.

None of us should forget the amazing NASA families who have made Houston their home and who have dedicated, and in some instances, given their lives to human space flight. They know what we all know and what our president and NASA administrator must also know - that the iconic shuttle belongs in Houston, where it can be a catalyst for generations to come to explore the human frontier of space and science.

Last and certainly not least as reasons that Houston should be at the top of any list to house a retired orbiter is the city's commitment to pay for it. Unlike other contenders, Houston does not need a handout to cover all the costs associated with housing an orbiter.
Bring it home!

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