Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas


March 29, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) today joined with his Houston colleagues Reps. Kevin Brady, Sheila Jackson Lee, John Culberson, Gene Green and Richard Allen, President and CEO of Space Center Houston to urge NASA to bring one of the retiring shuttle orbiters to Houston.

"The powerful testimony of everyone here today should serve as a strong reminder of the critical importance that Houston has played in human space exploration and the entire shuttle program," Olson said.  "Houston, Tranquility Base here, Eagle has landed" were the first words uttered on the moon.  "Houston Wheel Stop" are the words uttered at the end of EVERY shuttle flight. Through triumph and disaster Houston has been the constant link to our airborne astronauts.  Mission Control was center stage in one of NASA's greatest successes, when the Houston team safely brought the stricken Apollo 13 crew home from space.  Without Houston and Mission Control there would be no shuttle program.  I continue to urge NASA and the White House to give every consideration to bringing a shuttle home to Space City USA."

The shuttle orbiter is a national icon whose home is recognized for and by the entire Country in two places, Houston and the Florida Cape. Houston has supported the pursuit of space exploration since its inception. It is home to the NASA Johnson Space Center, Mission Control and the Astronaut Corps. The Space Shuttle Program is integral to its home. Since the early 1970s, tens of thousands of local space professionals - civil servants and industry contractors - have played a central role in designing, developing, managing and operating every aspect of the program. The shuttle orbiter is also a license plate option and a personalized image for many Houston drivers.