Monday, September 10, 2012

Endeavour Pays a Visit

In the local news today is the report that the space shuttle Endeavour, making a last round of tours of cities before being installed in its permanent home in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, will visit the Houston area next week.
It is slated to land at Ellington Field, near the Johnson Space Center – where its 25 missions were directed – and will then be on public display near the NASA Hangar 990 passenger gate from about 10:45 AM until 7 PM that evening.
The public will be able to view it from a distance of 100 feet.
It will eventually be installed as a permanent public exhibit in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California.
Los Angeles.
You know, Los Angeles, the city famous for its role in manned space flight.
But wait. The Houston area has already been favored with a permanent space shuttle display. Here it is shown at the right, sitting there between the entrance to Space Center Houston and the visitor parking lot. Nice huh?
Well, actually, if you look closely you will see no same stenciled on the side of this display. And if you google it, you will find that this is not an actual working space shuttle but a full scale mock-up.
A model.
Los Angeles gets the real deal, and Houston Texas gets a model.
Houston, we have a problem.
And who can we blame for this? Lay the blame square on the local electorate. Houston, and more properly, the Clear Lake area, is notoriously conservative. Having an actual space shuttle on its soil, then would be an enormous boon to local politicians who can all take credit for bringing home this bacon, much like LBJ did in the ‘60’s.
Except for the fact that no one in the current administration want to let local pols in Houston, especially the likes of my congressman, Pete Olson, get any credit or congratulations for having an actual space shuttle in the area. Better to plant them on soil whose populace votes for Democrats.
So Houston gets a model, and LA gets The Endeavour. Proof again in the time-tested axiom of politics: what goes around comes around.

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