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OLSON STATEMENT ON INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT ON NASA SELECTION OF DISPLAY LOCATIONS FOR RETIRED SHUTTLES

Washington, DC– Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) today issued the following statement in response to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Inspector General (IG) report on the decision making process for selecting display locations for the space shuttle orbiters:

"It is patently evident from this IG report that Administrator Bolden sought and implemented a plan that would deliberately exclude ties to the shuttle program program and therefore remove Houston from the equation. The report repeatedly references Bolden's preference to strip any ties to the shuttle program or NASA from the decision making process, instead focusing on access to international visitors over Americans whose tax dollars paid for every single shuttle. 

"The Johnson and Kennedy Space Centers, more than any other locations, are the reason for the very existence of the shuttle program. The removal of ties to the shuttle program as criteria in determining the location for retired shuttles is short-sighted and diminishes the importance of the people and resources in Houston that were dedicated to the success of the shuttle program. It also fails to honor the astronauts who lost their lives on the shuttles and is an insult to their families as well."

Key passage in the conclusion of the IG report:

           "The selection criteria NASA used favored sites where the Orbiters would be viewed by the largest number of people rather than the location’s ties to the Shuttle Program or to NASA more generally. The decision to weigh attendance, regional population, and access to international visitors above all other criteria – a decision made by the NASA Administrator – was determinative in deciding which locations ultimately received Orbiters."

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Media Contact: Melissa Kelly

202-225-5951