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Letter from Texas House Delegation to NASA Administrator Bolden About Shuttle Decision

Status Report From: U.S. House of Representatives
Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2011

image April 14, 2011

The Honorable Charles F. Bolden
Administrator
NASA
300 E St. SW
Washington, DC 20546
Dear Administrator Bolden,

Like many other Texans, we were shocked by your announcement yesterday that the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, the center for human spaceflight research and flight control for NASA, was not chosen to be the permanent home to one of the retired Space Shuttle Orbiters. As you know, the Johnson Space Center's Mission Control Center has been the operational center of every US human space mission since June 1965. The men and women who work at mission control have supported every single shuttle mission since the very first mission in 1981. We can find no logical explanation for this decision, and request that you explain the rationale behind the decision to Congress, the people of Houston, and the American taxpayer.

1. What factors did you use in making your decision?

2. For what specific reasons was the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York City chosen?

3. Are there any historical connections between NASA and the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum? Are there any historical connections between NASA and New York City in general?

4. Exactly how much does NASA anticipate spending to move the Enterprise from its current location in Virginia to the Intrepid Museum? Specifically, what funds will NASA use to pay for this move?

5. How does NASA physically plan to move the Enterprise to pier 86 in New York City?

6. Considering that the Intrepid Museum is located only 224 miles from the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, where the Shuttle Discovery will be displayed, doesn't it make geographic sense to have the Enterprise more centrally located in the country? As it stands now, there are three locations on the east coast. Wouldn't a more central location ensure that the highest number of Americans would be able to visit?

It is our hope that politics did not play a role in this historic decision. If there is no rational explanation based on definable factors for the choice of the Intrepid museum in New York City, and that the transfer of the Enterprise to that location will cost significantly more than a transfer to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, we will do everything in our power in Congress, including legislation to prevent funding of the transfer, to stop this wasteful decision.

Sincerely,

Ted Poe, Member of Congress, Texas
Pete Olson, Member of Congress, Texas
John Culbertson, Member of Congress, Texas
Kevin Brady, Member of Congress, Texas
Lamar Smith, Member of Congress, Texas
Gene Green, Member of Congress, Texas
Ron Paul, Member of Congress, Texas
Michael McCaul, Member of Congress, Texas
Pete Sessions Louis Gohmert, Member of Congress, Texas
Randy Neugebauer, Member of Congress, Texas
John Carter, Member of Congress, Texas
Ralph Hall, Member of Congress, Texas
Joe Barton, Member of Congress, Texas
Sam Johnson, Member of Congress, Texas
Michael Burgess, Member of Congress, Texas
Blake Farenthold, Member of Congress, Texas
Sheila Jackson Lee, Member of Congress, Texas

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