59 comments on “Houston, You Have a Problem.

  1. I went to the Houston NASA center as a preteen/young teen in the mid/late eighties and recall having mixed feelings about what they had and showed. I left feeling a little underwhelmed. I guess that’ll continue for many who go there now.

    While I understand sending one of the Shuttles to New York because of tourism, I don’t recall that city or state having much to do with the space industry, specifically the Shuttle missions. And there’s the political rub I guess.

    • Actually, the Apollo lunar landers were built by Grumman at Bethpage on Long Island, so I think New York is close enough to have at least a partial claim to a “space background”.

    • As the monies for space research coming from
      Joe The Plumber taxpayer // all having a equal
      claim in the profiting from / Space Adventures.

      Having PUBLIC tax monies been well spent ???.

      The answer must be YES /great benefits have
      come from Space Research /as depth learning
      of the many questions /as still need answering.

      The reality for the USA as major nations being
      the nation in having an nuclear armed defence
      placed in orbit would control govern all nations.

      Thus its a mutual respect all leave space / free
      of such intentions that would bring govts grave
      disagreement // as threaten an nuclear conflict
      the nation whom rules space controls the world.

      There also the situation if such nuclear defence
      shields // were to be agreed // then there also
      the danger / where they are damaged in space
      from some passing space junk / or those whom
      aboard such stations // lose their elgin marbles
      and they themselves /threaten /nations / govts.

      The added fact a USA would not reign supreme
      in an space nuclear defence programme / they
      would run an very poor third to Russia & China.

      If being a competition then the costings would
      soar to $billions upon $ billions / not practicale
      for any nation // thus the alternative // is that
      the major nations contribute to an pot / thus it
      be there’s still space research /all benefit from.

      It distant however there be a time where space
      travel the number one holiday family adventure
      that being if humans dont succeed bringing their
      own destruction // through present day stupidity.

      Humanity being at an very troubled time in their
      development // there those whom bring division.
      Yet in truth we are one family // one planet from
      so many blessed in abled give / allow human life.

      We are indeed fortunate // the purpose of human
      life that it may sustain the human frame // where
      via brain /heart /comes the ongoing development
      allowing understanding as experience / to flourish
      thus in bringing an unfolding of the spiritual being
      in knowing through experience / the very essence
      of creation // giving birth of human enlightenment.

      At such present times humanity fail understand
      just how fortunate as blessed all be. / We have
      in LIFE been given such mother of all gifts. /Yet
      the gift box remains unopened /through lacking
      development of the brain/ heart /that able open
      heavens door /they be the key’s that bring the
      completion of human journey to /enlightenment.

  2. Houston is the 4th largest city in the US and apart from being Space City, it’s also Oil Town, USA.

    The part about not getting enough traffic is garbage. Houston got snubbed.


    • I was just at Kennedy Space Center in March. One of the plaques told of Nixon taking part of the program to Houston in the early 60s. Now Houston gets the shut-out. I think for the role it’s played in space exploration, the snub is noticeable – and sad.

  3. If rational, not emotional, people were in charge of human affairs, the “big dumb booster” approach to spaceflight from Earth’s surface would NOT have been taken.

    USA would have pushed ahead with the X-planes, until a twin-bird system was developed, orbiter atop launcher, both able to both take-off and land horizontally.

    First footprint might have been taken by, say, 1980. But industrial development of the Moon, or Selene to give her a proper name, would have gone ahead steadily and without waste of resources and lives.

    The Space Transportation System was the flying bomb kit that Congres begrudged to NASA after killing off the sane twin-bird stack. And yet NASA spends only peanuts, and would continue to do so even if and when it was financed to the full requested level.

    One study group reported in 1982 that the NASA budget (from taxation) equalled the sum Americans spent on Smoking, and was a tenth of what they spent on Alcohol.

    The Welfare budget was 100 times the NASA budget and almost four times the Defence budget. The latest numbers published recently was that NASA spends zero point one percent of the US budget.

    • this supposes many things: that the push to develop a fully-reusable space vehicle from the X-plane technology development path would have succeeded, that Russia would not have decided to follow the path they opened with Sputnik and later Gagarin and go on to the Moon well before a reusable vehicle could have been developed, and most important, that Congress would have been willing to pour the cash into such a development program on a steady basis. none of these things can be proven nor disproved, but to blast the path America followed as you do based on such a supposition is more an expression of your own beliefs than of fact.

  4. Reiting the space shuttles in 2011 is a classic case of ‘better late than never’. I’m glad that these museums have them and will be able to display them, but I’m particularly glad that we won’t keep on flyinig them until we get another disaster.

    • You are right about that. Excuse my unintentional sexism. As a Canadian I am proud of our decidedly human astronaut: Roberta Bondar. Heard her speak at a conference – Inspirational!!

  5. Yeah, it sad to see the old birds go, but they were rather expensive for what they gave in return, I read a few years back a NASA rock engineer saying that had we kept Apollo Saturn V launch vehicles we would of saved more money over the years. Hopefully NASA will be given a chance to bring about a more practical cost effective approach to space. Still the shuttle has been a great learning tool, and work platform it will be hard to replace.

  6. I, too, am sad and amazed that Houston did not get one. But on the bright side, Command Center is nothing to sneeze at. I would visit Houston to take a tour of it with the kiddos. It boogles the mind that we sent men to the moon with less computing power than the cell phone in my purse.

    • You’re right, although at the time, the technology barely fit into a giant room. I took some eighth graders to Kennedy, and the stares and laughs they had at the command center for the Saturn V rocket (Apollo) launches were funny to me. They take for granted that they can do so much with a phone or iPod that fits in their purse or pocket. NOW they know that most of that technology is directly evolved from NASA’s space program. The $500 some billion investment helped to create the world we live in today!

      • Is the world we have today really so great? Granted we live longer, and our lives are physically easier than when I was a kid, but stress has gone through the roof. Also, our ethics have gone to hell.

  7. have to agree that what NASA gave in return for the extraordinary cost, was not balanced. nonetheless, have to say that space continues to be not only an intriguing but necessary exploration. finding a more financially viable way to do that would be ideal. the distribution of shuttles and ships seems a little lopsided and smacks of somebody’s politics.

  8. How do you define ROI on a space program? If we only do things that can assure us of a return, we will be a very boring world.

    • Humankind’s desire to explore, discover and ‘find out what’s out there’ is one of the things that separates us from the rest of Earth’s creatures. As long as there are uncharted space(s) someone will be ready to take the next step. Thank God for curiosity! As far as the return on investment, you’re right, tough to measure. But the Americans have run a program for 40 years. I think every penny was worth it.

  9. There are only so many orbiters, so someone is going to come up on the short end of the proverbial stick. Chicago, which has a strong economy and an excellent set of museums, had hoped one of the orbiters would come their way. Didn’t happen. It isn’t like Houston will suddenly cease to have a role in human spaceflight; as I understand it, the current control center will continue in it’s same role through the ongoing Space Station era. So it’s not all bad for them.

  10. As someone who works at the JSC, I can attest to the palpable disappointment that has been felt here these last few days, since the announcement was made that we would not be getting one of the Shuttles. The folks here are incredulous and genuinely surprised, because although it sort of *makes sense* to have the Shuttles be placed where they were, Houston was such an obvious choice that it’s still shocking that it didn’t happen.

  11. Pingback: Houston, You Have a Problem. (via Whole in my head) | zanindima

  12. So, what comes next? Will the money put to shuttle program go to social wellfare, to the military, or to cut down the immense amount of debt US government has accumulated during the decades? Will there be a new space program or will astronauts continue riding as passangers in Voshod rocketships of the Cosmonauts to the ISS? Russians have declared a new spaceprogram of some new kind of technology to reach orbit, to build a space station of their own and they are even planning to continue their Mars project aborted, when the Soviet Union fell. While the western world is in crisis the Russian economy is climbing.

    Is it true that the US ballistic missiles were of the same design as the Titan rocket project? I mean those rockets have not been launched since few of them went awry and exploded. Are there nukes in the US standing on top of rockets that have tendency to go of on launch? Like that really mattered, if we ever got to the point when they would be used, anyway…

    • The titans are indeed the first ICBMs. I didn’t realize that until recently. Either they’ve solved the ‘blow up on launch problem’ or they’re convinced they’ll work simply as a deterrent. Good old MAD.

  13. it is sad to hear that. However 30 years worth of a great program will remain hearts of the people. 🙂

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  14. NASA need to accept people suggestion. My friend is a great scientist (John Paul Jackson). Few years back John Paul also knew about the explosion of the Challenger well before it took place. He even called NASA to warn them about it. They obviously did not listen to him. NASA is pretty annoying. As well as NASA answer was,’well mr. Many thank you for calling. There’s a large number of check and balances, and failsafe systems, and absolutely nothing will happen.

    Fitness First Janitor

  15. Well, that sucks for Houston, what a shame! I once visited the space centre in Florida and I loved it. I will have to try to get to Houston next time I am there. Shuttles or no shuttles, it is still a place steeped in space voyaging history!

  16. Apparently we (Canada) are getting the Canadarm from the Endeavour. The Canadian Space Agency has hinted it may keep the arm at its headquarters in St-Hubert, Que., but other museums think they should get it. I hope California is not too miffed that they don’t get all of the space shuttle…

  17. A friend of mine from Houston told me about this a few days ago. I think its a bit disappointing. I mean, don’t you think a space shuttle would BRING more traffic to Houston?

    Besides, I’m from Albuquerque, New Mexico and mostly intimidated by NYC and LA. I would much rather visit Houston.

    Just sayin

  18. Fresh Press relevant to me? Delicious.

    I can’t believe they are relocating the shuttles like this. Us Houston cats would benefit greatly from the addition to the Space Center.

    If they keep killing off NASA legacy here, we are going to have to come up with new names for our MLB, NBA, and AHL teams.

    Oh well, at least we still have a functioning economy. 😀

  19. huston is a greate city that i think it would of have had big benefits if one of the space shuttle were to be located there. since huston is located in the biggest state the shuttle would of have attracted visitors to nasa form all over the state. also huston is only 8 hours from the boarder with mexico and nasa would of had more visitors from mexico. huston also has a lot of trafic from its sea port. which also atracts many employees which could visit the shuttle.

  20. We’ve lost for but a season there will be new orbitors and new explorations of space and Houston,Tx. will be part of it. It is a work in progress with peaks and valleys in our quest for knowledge of the entities surrounding us.

  21. They should have built more space shuttles IMHO. Then retire them as they got too old. Then there would be more to spread around to Houston and Chicago.
    Now we are dependent on Russia for space travel. We are dependent for oil. We are sending jobs over sea. Next will we out source printing our own money? Oops, I shouldn’t give them any ideas.
    Nice post and congrats on being FP!

  22. Gosh, that sure doesn’t make sense does it? But then dog sense, horse sense, or about anything with sense would come to the conclusion one should have gone to Houston. You can make all kind of rationalizations why LA (Could it be all that campaign money?) and NYC gets them (Maybe donations again just from a lower class of donners?). But Houston, have heart, the Chinese may let you keep a flag, when they make us part of their “commonwealth.” Relax, you won’t have long to wait, the politicians in Washington are doing their best to accelerate that.

  23. Don’t look at it from only a worldy point of view rather taking into acount the spiritual aspect // Much has been gained / learened of the human endeviour.


    Joking apart // the space programme brought other benefits that of the far
    more practical use here on Mother Earth // it also reveiled mans limitations
    space so vast its wonders beyond present human capability understanding.

    Thus humans being brought down to Earth knowing before they understand
    the workings of the universe / they need understand the basics of their own
    being. / Where through brain / heart /continue proceed an unfolding of their
    own spiritual being / through the space programme /knowledge was gained
    to benefit humanity in a more practical down to earth terms in knowing self.

    As to the universe in time all understanding be given // in such times t’will
    be very clear the purpose of creation. // The stages of development which
    humanity travels // that the journey home be completed in enlightenment.

    For creation in coming to being / their had to be a volcanic collision of the
    elements // a almighty storm // yet in the eye of such storm is / absolute
    contentment in being one with creation. Such the destination of humanity
    we have much learning as yet / many trials / tribulations/ as yet to come
    yet it shall come to pass. / The journey home of every soul is completed.

  24. The ultimate of space travel is in turning ones senses inwards
    thus via meditation // bringing a unfolding of the spiritual self.

    With meditation one needs the guidance of a spiritual teacher.
    At present time // humanity be blessed in having Prem Rawat.

    Prem Rawat not only a spiritual teacher/indeed he the teacher
    of teachers / thus one in getting the very best of the best / the
    brightest star (SPIRITUAL STAR) not your HOLLYWOOD but an
    Spiritual Star. /// In truth he need not /give an talk in earning
    one’s respect as praise. / His presence alone bringing peoples
    to their feet // where with open heart / in giving their applause.

    If one ready / forwarding their spiritual journey /via meditation.

    On pc search put ( words of peace ) on site one finding an large
    selection of videos // where Prem Rawat talking of // the inward
    turning of the senses / allowing an unfolding of the Spiritual self.

    Everybody has their own space ship. Such is ones /human frame
    the body your gateway to the spiritual world / as to the material.

    Via meditation // both worlds / being opened unto each individual.

    Thus need of spiritual teacher. He / she / teaching the use of the
    ships controls ( it important that these skills are developed) look
    at it as getting an driving license. / You need an teacher // abled
    AID in passing test / being spaceworthy /earning a space permit.

    Thus such praise for Prem Rawat he the teacher of teachers more
    space permits have been given to those whom under his guidance
    than all other Spiritual teachers put together. Thus he be the best.

    The speed one develops in travel // within spiritual experience as
    understanding /varies / go at a speed as best suit individual need.

    It important there’s a balance betwixt understanding as experience.

    Undestanding not flying far ahead of experience /as experience not
    flying too far ahead of understanding / keeping balance /being best.

    Spiritual development / requires not your having the best education
    it but requires you use common sense. / As with driving a car / you
    soon find you no longer need struggle / the controls becoming very
    familiar // you actions in driving done with the minimum of thinking
    it becoming natural. Via meditation /one abled leave material realm
    for a trip to the spiritual realm /ReTuRnInG in plenty of time for tea.

  25. It truly is depressing when this sort of things happen. Even though the United States claims to want to put a great deal of financial support behind science and technology, our government cuts a significant amount of assistance to one of our flagship enterprises in this field. It all smacks of irony to me.

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