Families of space shuttle accident victims 'heartbroken' Houston lost out

Houston, home of NASA's mission control, had staged a public awareness campaign to convince Bolden to award the city one of the shuttles. The campaign, dubbed "Bring Home The Shuttle," played on Houston's identity as the "Space City."

The accident spouses attributed the snub of their city to politics.

"We again share a collective loss as a result of the political decision to send the space shuttle elsewhere," they said. "We had prayed that the incredible sacrifices this community has endured would have allowed the shuttle's legacy to continue here. Although we disagree with this decision, we will persevere in our support of space exploration, just as we have done in the past."

Bolden said Tuesday in announcing the shuttle destinations in central Florida that he could not award a space shuttle to every city that wanted one.

"There were many worthy institutions that requested an orbiter, and only four to go around," he said.

Bolden made no mention of Houston in his remarks Tuesday, though he had indicated previously that he though the city had a good case for landing a shuttle.

"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 Houston TV station KTRK.

The quote was trumpeted by the "Bring Home The Shuttle" campaign.