As a native Houstonian I am both stunned and saddened at the news that the Johnson Space Center will not receive any of the shuttles that traveled to space. This despite the fact that the space shuttle program's history is inextricably linked to the Johnson Space Center. Throughout its 30-year history, the program has been managed in Houston, each mission has been controlled by it's talented professionals at Mission Control, and astronauts who have flown on shuttles have been trained and lived in the community. This city has served as the heart of the space shuttle program since its inception. What is even more mind boggling is learning which cities would receive a piece of space history. Florida, N.Y. and L.A., those were the chosen ones. (Really? Los Angeles? Excuse me if I throw up a little in my mouth!) I hate that I sound like a sore loser but right now, that's what it feels like here. I guess I just don't understand the reasoning behind all of this spurn. I'm not altogether sure there is an acceptable reason. A few of my colleagues discussed this over lunch today and the consensus was that politics played a major role in the deciding factor. You know, I guess I can agree with that, but it doesn't lessen the disappointment or the feeling of a balloon being popped just as you reach out to grab it, that the majority of people are experiencing tonight, in Houston. And really, who cares if it was politics or whatever other "reason" NASA had for it's choices!? To me, it was a slap on the face to all of the JSC employees, their families, as well as the astronauts that lost their lives on the Challenger and Columbia.
It's bad enough that the space program will probably or more than likely be extinct in about five years or so, but what happened today, well, that just adds insult to injury.
And with that said, I'm getting off my soapbox for tonight.