Congressman Mike Turner congratulated Congressman Charlie Wilson (OH-6) for his successful effort to delete language that would have directed NASA to give preference to Texas and Florida locations when placing decommissioned space shuttles after the program concludes.
The Science, Space and Technology Committee voted 18-14 this afternoon to delete the prejudicial language from H.R. 5781, the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. Following the successful passage of the amendment, Wilson released the following statement:
“Dayton, in my home state of Ohio, is known as the birthplace of aviation, I am very proud of the contributions that some of our home state heroes have made to flight, including Wilbur and Orville Wright, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong.”
“Given NASA Glenn’s significant contributions to space flight, as well as the contributions of numerous Ohio companies, I think that Ohio strongly deserves consideration as a location for one of the space shuttles once they are permanently retired,” Rep. Wilson continued. “I’m proud that we were able to amend the language that would have negatively impacted states such as Ohio, California, Washington, Illinois, Oregon, and New York. Either the process to house the shuttles is competitive or it’s not. I’m glad it will now be truly competitive.”
“I appreciate Congressman Wilson’s leadership on the House Science Committee in offering this amendment today,” said Rep. Turner. “This language levels the playing field for Ohio and the National Museum of the United States Air Force so that we can compete for a retired shuttle. I look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Wilson, and the entire Ohio delegation in ensuring one of these retired shuttles finds a home in Ohio.”
The Ohio delegation has worked together expressing continued strong support for the transfer of a retired space shuttle orbiter at the National Museum of the United States Air Force (NMUSAF) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
The Secretary of the Air Force has requested a retired space-flown orbiter for long-term preservation and public display at NMUSAF. The Air Force was instrumental in determining the orbiter’s design and capabilities, and many of the shuttle astronauts have been members of the Air Force. NMUSAF has identified the Air Force Space Mission as its most important exhibit priority.
“The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the ideal facility to preserve the legacy of NASA’s Space Shuttle program,” Rep. Turner said. “The U.S. Air Force played a significant role in developing the nation’s space program. Retiring a space shuttle orbiter at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, just miles away from the historic home of Orville and Wilbur Wright, will strengthen the aerospace heritage of the region. In addition, it will serve as an educational attraction for students and residents interested in America’s space program, and encourage local tourism and economic growth. I appreciate the support of the entire Ohio Congressional Delegation in this effort.”
Ohio has a rich aerospace history. It is home to the Glenn Research Center, one of only 10 NASA research centers in the country. It is the premier NASA facility for microgravity science, in-space transportation, aerospace communications, and aero propulsion and interdisciplinary research for bioscience. NASA’s economic impact to the state exceeds $1.2 billion and acts as a catalyst for the 1,200 aerospace-related companies in Ohio - companies that employ more than 100,000 Ohioans.
Congressman Turner has led two Ohio delegation letters to NASA administrators expressing support for the transfer of an orbiter to Ohio. This request was reiterated at a meeting with Administrator Charles Bolden earlier this year. Today’s efforts to eliminate prejudicial language in the NASA bill reiterates the Ohio Delegation’s commitment to ensuring a shuttle is retired to the NMUSAF.