Houston Pols Make Another Run at Getting Retired Space Shuttle
Houston’s still miffed Congressional delegation is taking another shot at wresting the retired Space Shuttle Enterprise away from New York City. They say it belongs in Houston because New York City isn’t keeping the sun, moon and stars promises it made to get the shuttle in the first place.
The campaign to get the original prototype shuttle test model brought to the Johnson Space Center has come back to life, after a report that the USS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is running into major obstacles few people outside New York knew about when the shuttle was awarded to New York back in April.
The New York Times reports a number of difficulties are confronting the planned Intrepid Museum, which supporters hope to build on the Hudson River adjacent to the WWII aircraft carrier Intrepid.
The museum does not own the land where it hopes to display the Enterprise. Nor does it have the zoning change it needs to build and operate a museum on land now zoned for industrial manufacturing.
And the museum has to raise nearly $30 million dollars to pay for moving the spacecraft, and millions more to build the climate controlled exhibition space NASA requires.
“It’s obvious New York was not ready as advertised,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, whose district stretches to the northwestern suburbs of Houston.
Members of the Texas delegation think Houston still has a chance, but officials in New York and at NASA headquarters insist nothing has changed. A NASA spokesman says the agency is still planning to hand off all four retired shuttles to sites in California, Florida, Virginia and New York.
Houston-area House members say they want an investigation of NASA’s decision making process, and they’re looking for ways to use the appropriations and spending process to force NASA to reconsider.
Here’s a link to yesterday’s expose’ in the New York Times.