Texas lawmakers demand answers on Houston shuttle snub

Rep. Ted Poe (TX-02) and Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) were joined by other members of the Texas Delegation in sending a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden requesting an explanation for why he is sending a retired shuttle orbiter to New York City instead of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

On Tuesday, NASA announced that it will send retired shuttle orbiters to New York, California, Florida and Virginia. Houston, the center of space exploration, was denied a shuttle. This letter requests answers to pointed questions to figure out the logic behind the decision.

"The first word spoken on the moon landing was 'Houston', not New York City," said Rep. Poe. "NASA and the Johnson Space center have been the home base for space exploration for decades. It defies logic for a shuttle to go to New York City, a place with no connection to NASA. It's like putting the Statue of Liberty in Omaha. This was a politically driven decision, not one based on facts and history. This is disrespectful to Houston, the state of Texas and the Johnson Space Center family. Texas needs an explanation from the Administration."

"No city in the world deserves a shuttle more than Houston, certainly not New York.  As much as the Administration may deny it, the smell of politics permeates this decision," Rep. Olson said. "So many of my House colleagues from across the country have reiterated that point since the announcement. NASA never established defined criteria, likely because they knew Houston would meet every criteria with flying colors.  Houston deserves answers to how this decision was made.  Administrator Bolden has some explaining to do."

Olson and Poe were joined by other members of the Texas delegation including: Rep. Ralph Hall,  Rep. Michael Burgess,  Rep. Joe Barton,  Rep. Pete Sessions,  Rep. Randy Neugebauer, Rep. Sam Johnson,  Rep. John Carter,  Rep. John Culberson,  Rep. Kevin Brady,  Rep. Gene Green,  Rep. Ron Paul,  Rep. Michael McCaul,  Rep. Lamar Smith,  Rep. Louie Gohmert and Rep. Blake Farenthold.