Those words were not good news for those who worked at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. They may have been spoken in other space flights, but, the dilemma of Apollo 13 comes to mind as the most urgent.
Once NASA launches a maned space flight from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, everything thereafter is controlled by “Houston”. Good news, America’s good news, bad news, Houston’s problem.
We now have only two shuttle flights left in America’s space program. The shuttle Endeavor is scheduled to launch on April 29, and the shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to launch later this summer. After that, we turn over space exploration to the Russians.
So, what to do with our 4 shuttles?
The answer was given on Tuesday by Charles Bolton, NASA’s chief, and, an appointee of President Obama.
Shuttle Discovery, which has spent almost one year in space over her lifetime, will go to the Smithsonian, as well she should.
Shuttle Atlantis, upon her return from space later this summer, will remain at Kennedy Space Center, as well she should.
Surely, you say, one of the 2 remaining shuttles will go to Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Mr. Bolton has decided that the Enterprise, which was a prototype used solely for test flights, and never flew in space, will go to New York City, and the Endeavor, upon her return in May will go to California’s Science Center in Los Angeles California.
Just in case you missed the nuance, both New York and California are “blue states”, Texas is not.
I may be jumping to conclusions here, but, it is a travesty for Johnson Space Center to not receive at least one shuttle that “Houston” cared and nurtured through numerous perilous flights.