Lawmakers from Texas, who fought hard to acquire a space shuttle for the Lyndon Johnson Space Center, won't be saying “Houston, we have a shuttle!” anytime soon.
Following months of competition between museums in 28 different cities who – with public support from their state and national representatives – vied for the right to house a retiring space shuttle, on Tuesday NASA announced the four museums that can soon put a shuttle on permanent display.
Winners and losers made their reactions clear Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.
“It's unthinkable that the home of human space flight wouldn't represent the ideal home for a retired orbiter,” tweeted Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas).
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) tweeted that the decision was based on “political favors.”
“Outrageous that Ohio didn't get the space shuttle,” tweeted Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio). The National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton was considered a top contender in the competition. “We're the home of Wright Bros & countless advances in aviation. Shameful decision.”
Others had reason to celebrate the news.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) heralded the news as a “great homecoming for CA!” The shuttle Endeavor will go on permanent display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
“Thrilled” described Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a vocal supporter of New York City's right to a shuttle. “Theo & Henry will love it!” she tweeted of her children.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York will get the Enterprise, which will be moved from the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum to make way for the Shuttle Discovery.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), a former astronaut who supported the bid by the Kennedy Space Center, tweeted: Atlantis is coming home to Kennedy after traveling roughly 120 million miles.
Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) also tweeted a welcome to the shuttle.
“[C]ongrats to everyone involved in the top-notch bid,” tweeted Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), who described himself as “disappointed” but apparently graciously resigned to his state's Museum of Flight losing their bid.