April 4, 2011 - Extra Edition  

Bring The Shuttle Home
Bring the Shuttle Home

NASA’s Space Shuttle Program will end this year with the retirement of its shuttle orbiters. A battle is underway across the country to host one of these retired shuttles. Several organizations from the Houston area have partnered in an effort to bring a retired orbiter to the Johnson Space Center.

The Discovery shuttle has already been promised to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, to replace the prototype Enterprise on display there. That leaves the Atlantis and Endeavour shuttles (and the displaced, never-flown Enterprise) still to be awarded. More than 20 museums and venues across the country – from Seattle to Chicago and from Florida to California – are vying for that honor. Space Center Houston, the official visitor’s center for the Johnson Space Center, is one of them.

Ranked as one of Texas’s top tourist attractions with more than 750,000 visitors each year, Space Center Houston serves as the gateway to the NASA Johnson Space Center. The facility is already home to numerous history-making manned space vehicles, including Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Skylab vehicles or replicas. A retired space shuttle would complete this amazing collection.

In addition to the one-of-a-kind educational benefits, the Space Center estimates that a space shuttle attraction has the potential to annually increase the regional economy by $45 million, generate another $29 million in business value and create more than 750 jobs in the area.

At 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, the “Bring the Shuttle Home” rally will take place on the steps of Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby, Houston, TX, 77002.  People from all over Harris County will have a chance to support the effort to bring one of the retired, flown-in-space shuttles home to Houston.  The decision where to send the shuttles will be made by Gen. Charles Bolden, the administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, on April 12.

Visit http://www.bringtheshuttlehome.com to learn more about the effort and follow the progress.