5 Things the Shuttle Endeavour Needs to Do in Its Houston Layover
You've got unfinished Houston business, Endeavour.
Photo by NASA
NASA is trying to make a big PR splash with the crosscountry trip of the retired shuttle Endeavour, including a nose-thumbing stopover of Houston, the city who didn't get a shuttle despite being the home of NASA.
See Also: - Retired Shuttles: Houston Even Finished Behind McMinnville, Oregon - Eight Rejected Shuttle Designs: From Space Zeppelins to Flying Boxes to Cool Deltas - 15 Unfamous But Great Space Shuttle Photos
You'd think the space agency would try to sneak the piggybacking shuttle over the city under cover of darkness, or veer north until they were topping Centerville at least, but instead NASA seems committed on rubbing Houston's nose once again in how the city messed up the process of procuring one of these orbiting babies for space-museum purposes.
As it turns out, Endeavour has some unfinished business here in Houston. So while it's in town, maybe it could/should look into this honeydew list:
5. Lose that damn "O" for once and for all Winner of the Most Pretentious Shuttle is....Ye Olde Endeavour!!
No one ever bought the explanation that it was named after some old sailing ship because it was as far removed from a sailing ship as possible. Sticking an "O" in it wasn't going to make it seem historic or anything.
We know Houston is full of brand-spanking-new places designed to look/seem old and therefore something calling itself "Endeavour" would fit here, but break out the paint while you're at Ellington and cover up that offending letter before moving on to L.A. It's time.
The Outpopst: Gone, like the Endeavour
4. Get in one last visit to the Outpost. Oops. Well, maybe you can dip your wings as you glide over what used to be a legendary astronaut hangout. Although we're not sure we recommend a shuttle-laden 747 dipping its wings at low altitude over a semi-populous area, come to think of it.
3. Say hello to the countless NASA employees who worked their tails off making you succeed. Nah, forget about that. Just land, take some kudos and head out to the glitz and glamour. (And spell that "glamour" with a classy extra "O.")
You deserve it.
2. Actually go to SpaceCenter Houston (get your Coke-can discount first!) There's been some debate among old-time NASA lovers as to whether or not getting a retired shuttle is really such a bad thing for Houston.
A tour of NASA, which back in the day used to be a low-key, casual stroll among space history, has become a high-energy focus-grouped kids' attraction called SpaceCenter Houston that is a coldly efficient money-grabbing machine looking to turn a dime at every corner.
Did you really want to become part of that, Endeavour? Maybe a separate admission charge for a brisk "move along" walkthrough and ultra-quick sitdown at the controls for a photo, with patches and pins for sale as soon as you step out?
Maybe you like that kind of thing, come to think of it. In which case, welcome to L.A.
California ain't got Willie.
Photo by Marc Brubaker
1. Read the 50 reasons Texas is the best state in the country Especially better than California, and that includes L.A.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.