Campaign to "Bring the Shuttle Home"

There’s an organized effort underway to bring one of NASA’s retired space shuttles to Houston for permanent display. As Laurie Johnson reports — the decision on where the shuttle orbiters will retire is coming soon.

From Neil Armstrong’s immortal words at the first moon landing…

“Houston, uhh, Tranquility Base here. The eagle has landed.”

To Apollo 13’s chilling announcement…

“Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”
“This is Houston, say again, please.”
“Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

NASA and Houston are woven together in the minds of the nation. And that’s why Space Center Houston Director Richard Allen says Houston stands apart from most other cities asking to house one of the fleet.

“Johnson Space Center, since the ’70s designed and developed the shuttle orbiter, as well as they’ve managed every mission. Mission Control has controlled every mission. Every astronaut that has trained for a mission, spent the majority of his time training here in Houston at Johnson Space Center.”

There are nearly 30 institutions vying to be the landing site for a shuttle orbiter. Shuttle Discovery will likely go into The Smithsonian’s permanent collection.

Endeavour Goes to Florida. NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft No. 911, with the space shuttle orbiter Endeavour securely mounted atop its fuselage, taxies to the runway to begin the ferry flight from Rockwell’s Plant 42 at Palmdale, California to the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. NASA image.

That leaves Shuttles Enterprise, Atlantis and Endeavour up for grabs.

Allen says adding a shuttle to the space center collection would also be an economic and tourism boost to the region.

“The yearly economic impact to the region would be about $45 million a year. Plus it would create about 750 jobs.”

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will announce the selected cities on April 12th.

For more information, visit Space Center Houston “Bring the Shuttle Home” site.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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