Space Shuttle Battle: City Hall Rally to Demand Houston Gets a Used Orbiter

As we've noted before, Houston is in a life-or-death battle to get one of the two retiring space shuttles that have flown missions, and they need all the help they can get.

The solution: A City Hall rally, complete with Mayor Annise Parker, County Judge Ed Emmett and "surviving Columbia and Challenger family members."

That will show NASA.

The agency makes its big decision, or at least announces its big decision, April 12, and the heat will be put on.

"Houston is the home of the Johnson Space Center and mission control," says the announcement of the rally 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. "The shuttles were designed here and astronauts live and train in Houston. Much of NASA's work today is still based from Houston. One of the shuttles belongs in Houston."

A Web site, HelpBringtheShuttleHome.com, hopes to generate (gulp) a million letters to NASA urging Houston get one of the shuttles.

Of course, there's some economic impact study that shows blessings unalloyed from landing one:

The shuttle attraction at Space Center Houston has the potential to annually increase the regional economy by $45 million, plus generate another $29 million in business value and create more than 750 jobs in the area.

As the first item we linked to indicates, there seem to be five finalists. We can only hope none of them are planning a City Hall rally.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly