NASA – Museums Disappointed

April 18, 2011

Four Museums were granted their ultimate wish on Tuesday (April 12, 2011) to be one of the select few to ever display a NASA space shuttle.   Kennedy Space Center, Florida; Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, in Washington D.C.; the California Science Center, Los Angeles;  and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York; were selected by NASA among a total of 21 museums around the country that placed a bid for a space shuttle to have a permanent home.  NASA Administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden announced the locations of the space shuttles, while being a bit emotional.  Yet, he reminded NASA and its selected museums to stay that the journey of our space shuttles are far from over.  Museums still need to build exibits, along with much planning and preperation to transport each shuttle.

Yet, the real question that remains, what about the other museums that were not granted a space shuttle?  NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce explains that some museums decided to take a gamble, for instance like Seattle’s Museum of Flight which had already began construction on its new space gallery and Chicago’s Adler Planetarium had architectural designs in the works. Both were hoping that these factors would help them retrieve a space shuttle to put on display in their museum, however, it didn’t help.

Yet, the big surprise that day was that no space shuttle would be in the state of Texas.  George Bush Presidential Library, The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, and not even Johnson Space Center (NASA Mission Control) received a space shuttle to put on display.  Fox News reported that this news release sent a ripple effect throughout the great state, leaving many people including NASA employees rather disappointed.  Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas expressed his disappointment in NASA’s decision because Johnson Space Center is a main priority when it comes to the human space flight program.  U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady was outraged by this decision and  believes that stupidity and politics lead to NASA’s decision, and once again they left Johnson Space Center out.

It was interesting to see how big of a deal the final resting locations would be for the NASA shuttles.  Even with America facing economic problems, museums were still willing to spend money and take a chance at acquiring a space shuttle.  While these space shuttles are a significant part of history it still seemed like quiet a gamble, that has led many museums unhappy.  From the standpoint of Texas, NASA has only betrayed one of its own agency’s.

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