Sep 292011
 

Texas Congressman blasts N.Y. plan for shuttle

Short form: The shuttle Enterprise was supposed to go to the Intrepid Sea, Air  and Space Museum in New York and was to be located on a specially-built berth next to the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier. Well, that ain’t gonna happen. The museum now wants to put the Enterprise in a parking lot.

They envision converting the lot, which is surrounded by a bagel bakery, a car wash, storage warehouses and a strip club

Oddly, some people are upset about this. Not only the Congressman mentioned in the title, but the Seattle Museum of Flight. They wanted a Shuttle but were locked out; in order to get a shuttle, they went to the bother of building an $11 million facility to house one. The New Yorkers apparently did squadoo, but still managed to score a shuttle.

As the Fark headline puts it:

New York is now planning to put the Shuttle Enterprise in a parking lot in Hell’s Kitchen so the homeless can paint it with urine

 Posted by at 9:00 am
  • Patrick

    Enterprise should have gone the the Evergreen Air and Space Museum in McMinnville Oregon. It is a great museum, and they built an entire second building for the shuttle. Besides, there is only ONE on the west coast, but three on the east coast.

  • sean from Edwards

    WTF, that is complete and utter bull crap. The east coast get’s three shuttles, DC no prob, Florida no prob, New Freaking York, WTF, they contributed nothing to the shuttle program but they get one, BS! Heck California gets on at the LA science center, fine, but Housten gets nothing, BS! Get the shuttle out of new york send it to Texas or Utah or someplace that actually contributed to the freaking program, heck, even the Air Force museum would be a better place for it.

  • Dave Weber

    All one has to do is remember how the Unisphere looked for years at Flushing Meadows, NY..The home of the 1964-65 World’s Fair.. Grimy, grafitti shorn. In 1989, it finally was restored .The Shuttle risks a similar fate.. Make NY Live up to the agreement…Indoors or elsewhere..period.

  • “The New Yorkers apparently did squadoo, but still managed to score a shuttle.”

    The most visited city in the world, why would the shuttle go there?!?

    “New Freaking York, WTF, they contributed nothing to the shuttle program but they get one, BS!”

    Why make the air and space museum in DC then? You make museums where people go. People go to cities, particularly New York, DC, Chicago, Philly, etc. The Shuttles should go to aerospace museums that will offer the largest number of visitors. That means DC and NY.

    One can safely argue that the $1 Trillion+ annual GDP of New York City (larger than most countries) had something to do with allowing our nation to have a space program in the first place.

    It doesn’t hurt that Carl Sagan, Issac Asimov, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and countless others grew up in New York.

    Don’t be too mad; this is the most crummy of the orbiters being handed out.

    • admin

      > Why make the air and space museum in DC then?

      Because it is basically the *national* air and space museum.

      > You make museums where people go. People go to cities, particularly New York, DC, Chicago, Philly, etc.

      People go to Omaha. Thus Enterprise should go to the Strategic Air & Space Museum in Nebraska. Nice and centrally located. When New Yorkers drive to LA, they can stop in and see it.

      Maybe Chicago? Salt Lake City would be good… proximity to the Thiokol plant in Promontory would make it Space-Shuttle-Program-Relevant.

      > It doesn’t hurt that Carl Sagan, Issac Asimov, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and countless others grew up in New York.

      And Werner von Braun, Willy Ley and Ernst Stuhlinger grew up in Germany, thus maybe the Deutches Museum should get the Enterprise.

      Beyond all these points, there is this simple one: NY got the Enterprise based on plans submitted. Those plans have now been abandoned. Other museums went to considerably greater *real* effort in their bids. At the very least, now that the Intrepid museum has backed out of their plans, the competition should be re-opened.

      The most important thing is not “where are there the most people,” but “who will take best care of the Enterprise and provide the best viewing environment for it.” New York has proven rather shaky in this regard. Seattle’s museum apparently went to the bother of actually building a new wing specifically for a shuttle. This indicates much greater commitment and seriousness.

      • TimothyC

        >Other museums went to considerably greater *real* effort in their bids. At the very least, now that the Intrepid museum has backed out of their plans, the competition should be re-opened.

        Exactly – the USAFM/NMUSAF in Dayton Ohio should have gotten one, partly because the hanger that it was going to go in is being built *anyway*. The museum is also very centrally located, and as an added bonus, on DoD property.

        • Arlukiii

          “centrally located” is a nice way to say in the middle of nowhere. Your “centrally located” choices are basically the closest possible choices to you, sadly NASA cannot accommodate them.

  • Andrew Gorman

    If I saw a shuttle in a parking lot, I’d pee on it! What better fate for the hardware that wiped out the US space program?

  • K

    I hear it will be moved into the recently opened 9/11 Islamic center as a token of Muslim outreach.

  • BScCollateral

    Yeah, this change of plans on the part of the museum should be grounds for cancelling the agreement.

    A shuttle, kept outdoors? That’s insane.

  • Bruce

    I think the Marshall Space Flight Center has one too, but only a smaller version.

    • admin

      The Shuttle on display at the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville (near Marshall) is the “Pathfinder.” This was a weight simulator… same size, shape, mass, CG and fittings as the shuttle, meant to be hauled around by cranes and whatnot prior to loading up an actual shuttle, to both prove that the systems dedicated to moving the Shuttle around could do so safely, and to get the crews trained up on doing so. Initially it only kinda-sorta looked like the shuttle, but it got a cosmetic (fiberglass?) upgrade to look like a real shuttle. It’s an impressive display, mounted on an actual External Tank, but paired up with the Aerojet ASRMs rather than the ATK RSRMs. Most people wouldn’t know the difference.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathfinder_(simulator)

      • sean from Edwards

        I used to work at the Space and Rocket Center back in college, and the pathfinder was cool to have, yes it was not a real shuttle, just a test shape that was fixed up cosmetically, but still it was cool. I remember the summer when NASA actually took back the nose cone and exhaust cone from one of the SRBs becuase they were real units and they needed them, replacing them with mock ups. I also remember watching as techs would go up monthly to pull coins out of the External Tank foam, damn kids. And of course it was always fun when they would leave the cherry picker out after cleaning it and staff members would give their girlfriend or boyfriend and up close and intimate look at the orbiter late at night.

  • Jeff Wright

    Enterprise might wind up a restaraunt in Central Park, or be placed in an old building, whose roof caves in on it when being “repaired”–oh, wait–we’ve done that one.