NASA to pick where shuttles go this week

“Ohio, the birthplace of aviation, is proud of its century-long tradition of aviation pioneering and human spaceflight development,” Ohio’s congressional delegation wrote in a Feb. 7 letter to Bolden lobbying for the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton.

The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 says the shuttles should go to locations with the best potential value to the public and that are best able to host the display. Bolden has publicly indicated he would like to send a shuttle to the Space Center.

"If I were not the NASA administrator, I would say the places that should get an orbiter are Houston, the Cape [Canaveral]," Bolden said in an interview with local TV station KTRK.

The quote has been used by Houston officials to argue the city is the logical choice.

NASA is retiring the Atlantis and Endeavour space shuttles after their final flights this year, as well as Discovery, which already returned from its final mission.

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington is generally considered to be the front-runner for the Discovery shuttle.

Before the shuttle decision is announced, the Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies will consider NASA's proposed $18.7 billion 2012 budget today.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittees will look at regulations for transporting hazardous materials Tuesday, and the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will look at the Coast Guard's acquisition program Wednesday.