Houston’s Space Shuttle Tribute — in Pieces

HOUSTON’S SPACE SHUTTLE TRIBUTE — IN PIECES Sure, Houston won’t be the rest home of choice for any of the space shuttles that retired intact, but what about the ones that blew up? Mayor Parker says she now supports a plan being promoted by several family members of Columbia and Challenger astronauts to store recovered remnants of the exploded Columbia orbiter in a large warehouse connected to Space Center Houston. More than 80,000 separate pieces of debris recovered from the 2003 disaster are currently stored in a 16th floor office in the Vehicle Assembly Building of Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Parker tells the Chronicle‘s Mike Morris she thinks an exhibit of burnt and broken shuttle parts here could “create a fitting memorial to those astronauts. Not a tourist attraction, but to really recognize the commitment that Houston and Houstonians have made and the sacrifices they’ve made for space. That is an opportunity.” [Houston Politics; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Columbia debris: CollectSpace

8 Comment

  • Tastefully combined with information about the astronauts lost in those tragedies, I think it could be an interesting memorial if the pieces were placed on a shuttle-size framework so people can see how those parts helped form the original craft.

    Sitting in bins, not so much.

  • I agree with kilray.
    Great opportunity to communicate the reality of space travel

  • I think it’s a bit ghoulish, really.

  • i like Kilray’s idea. There was SO much that happened after the crash that went on as far as investigation that I think would very educational as well. My dad works at JSC and was part of the very large contingent from Houston who traveled to help recover and document debris and then took part in testing and experiments to find out what happened. Most of the population doesn’t realize how much happened after the crash.

  • I agree with Jessica, it’s morbid. A memorial should focus of the memory of the life of someone, not the death. I really have to wonder about Americans nowadays with all this fascination with death and CSI and zombies and FPS videogames. No wonder the manned space program is wilting on the vine, where are the dreams of exploration and scientific discovery? Where’s the focus on lives well-lived instead of some stupid technical and engineering foul-up that cost such brilliant people their lives?

  • This could also be a fitting metaphor for and tribute to the Obama presidency. We voted for him because he was going to unite us. What high hopes we had… And he’ll leave us more disintegrated than ever.

  • Recycle all the debris into a new art piece/memorial to all fallen space heroes would be quite fitting and a monument to their sacrifce. We really don’t need a freaking shuttle transformed into a tourist destination with Fetitta ferris wheel next to it. Caveat, please do not commission David Adickes to do it.

  • I had the weirdest dream last night where I was prancing on the moon – part of some huge government conspiracy. Looking back, I’m sure that reading this Swamplot post is what triggered the whole thing.