NASA Boss Bolden Decided Houston Wouldn’t Get Retired Space Shuttle
We all remember how we felt when we learned that Houston will not be getting one of the retired space shuttle orbiters, despite the city’s long history with the space program. Now we know why.
NASA Inspector-General Paul K. Martin has released a report that examined the process NASA used to choose permanent display locations for the retired space shuttles.
The report takes us behind the scenes of what was a nearly secret process. The most interesting revelation is that NASA Administrator Charles Bolden made all the final decisions.
The report says Bolden, himself a former astronaut, did not believe a location’s connection to the Space Shuttle Program or to NASA should be a factor in deciding where to place the Orbiters.
Here’s the meat of this report: Bolden chose locations where the Orbiters would be seen by the most people, and serve NASA’s goal of expanding education in science, technology, and space exploration.
There you have it. Facing down enormous political pressures from all directions, Bolden decided to share NASA’s space hardware with other parts of the country outside the well known space center areas.
Hard to argue with that, but the report isn’t doing anything to soothe all the ruffled feathers in the Houston area.
Here’s a link to the full report by the NASA Inspector-General.