Florida and Texas are trying to make an end run around NASA’s competitive process to decide where to give the retired space shuttles by getting Congress to weigh the decision in their favor.

After an unsuccessful legislative attempt to force NASA to give a space shuttle orbiter to the Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Kennedy Space Center near Titusville (See the Human Space Flight Capability Assurance and Enhancement Act of 2010 S. 3068/H.R. 4804), the delegation has come up with a more subtle approach–and so far, more successful.

Tucked into the NASA reauthorization bill that Congress is now taking up is a provision which directs NASA to give “priority consideration” to a site with a historical relationship with “either the launch, flight operations, or processing of the Space Shuttle orbiters.”

This very narrow direction favors the Florida and Texas sites, and ignores the other contributions that were made by individuals, organizations and communities across the nation. It was this total effort that has allowed the shuttle to fly successfully for the past three decades

The House Science and Technology Committee will meet on Thursday (July 22) at 10:00 a.m. to take up the legislation.

The full text of the draft NASA Reauthorization Bill can be found on the House Science Committee’s website: http://science.house.gov/Publications/hearings_markups.aspx. For the language on space shuttle disposition, see Section 223 on pages 45 and 46. Representatives Charles Wilson and Marcia Fudge of Ohio have filed an amendment to broaden the criteria. However, with nine members of the committee from Florida or Texas, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess the outcome. A complete list of members of the committee follows. Citizens with interest in this provision and the proposed amendment may want to get in touch with committee members from their states to express their views before the committee meeting.


Bart Gordon (Tennessee), Chair
Jerry F. Costello, Illinois
Eddie Bernice Johnson, Texas
Lynn C. Woolsey, California
David Wu, Oregon
Brian Baird, Washington
Brad Miller, North Carolina
Daniel Lipinski, Illinois
Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona
Donna F. Edwards, Maryland
Marcia L. Fudge, Ohio
Ben Ray Luján, New Mexico
Paul D. Tonko, New York
Steven R. Rothman, New Jersey
Jim Matheson, Utah
Lincoln Davis, Tennessee
Ben Chandler, Kentucky
Russ Carnahan, Missouri
Baron P. Hill, Indiana
Harry E. Mitchell, Arizona
Charles A. Wilson, Ohio
Kathy A. Dahlkemper, Pennsylvania
Alan Grayson, Florida
Suzanne M. Kosmas, Florida
Gary Peters, Michigan
John Garamendi, California


Ralph M. Hall (Texas), Ranking Republican Member
F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin
Lamar Smith, Texas
Dana Rohrabacher, California
Roscoe G. Bartlett, Maryland
Vernon J. Ehlers, Michigan
Frank D. Lucas, Oklahoma
Judy Biggert, Illinois
W. Todd Akin, Missouri
Randy Neugebauer, Texas
Bob Inglis, South Carolina
Michael T. McCaul, Texas
Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida
Brian P. Bilbray, California
Adrian Smith, Nebraska
Paul Broun, Georgia
Pete Olson, Texas

Contact: Tony Sculimbrene
Executive Director
National Aviation Heritage Alliance
(937) 475-7627
(937) 443-0184 fax

The National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) is a private, not for profit corporation operating as the management entity of the Congressionally designated National Aviation Heritage Area, one of 49 national heritage areas in the United States. NAHA’s vision is for Dayton to become the recognized global center of aviation heritage and premier destination for aviation heritage tourism, sustaining the legacy of the Wright brothers. The National Aviation Heritage Area encompasses an eight county area (Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, Warren, Champaign, Shelby, and Auglaize counties.)