Once again, Ohio got the shaft thanks to the country’s coasts. After it looked like Dayton’s National Museum of the U.S. Air Force would land one of the four retired NASA space shuttles, the organization announced today it was shipping off the old hardware to the usual suspects.
The Smithsonian will get one of the rusty buckets — no brainer. The Kennedy Space Center in Florida got one, which makes some sense, we guess. But the other two choices are seriously suspect. One will be shipped to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, and, because everything New York has Los Angeles wants too, bi-coastal parity being the rule of thumb today, the final one is going to the California Science Center in LA.
We’re not being poor losers here, in part because it looked like Ohio had a lock on the taxpayer-produced museum piece. In February, the Dayton Daily News reported that the Obama Administration had asked congress to set aside $14 million to prepare and transport the shuttle to Ohio. The bragging rights as the shuttle's final resting ground was seen as a hat tip to the Wright Brothers’ home state and the contributions Ohio made to the space program.
But that wasn’t any sweat off the brow of NASA honcho Charles F. Bolden Jr. Bolden’s final decision was to give the shuttle to Florida instead. So yes, an idiot once again chose Florida over Ohio. Thank you.
Ohio's cadre of reps aren’t happen about it. "NASA ignored the intent of Congress and the interests of taxpayers," Senator Sherrod Brown fumed in a press release. "NASA was directed to consider regional diversity when determining shuttle locations. Unfortunately, it looks like regional diversity amounts to which coast you are on, or which exit you use on I-95. Even more insulting to taxpayers is that having paid to build the shuttles, they will now be charged to see them at some sites."