Rep. Charlie Wilson (OH-6) is pleased to announce that he and several other members of the House Science and Technology Committee, including Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11) and Rep. David Wu (OR-1), were successful in amending H.R.5781, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 during today's full committee mark-up. As originally written, the bill would have put Ohio and several other states at a significant disadvantage from ever housingretired shuttle orbiters. The amendment restored a level playing field in the hosting competition. The vote passed with a bipartisan majority of18-14.
Members from Texas and Florida suggested that the original language, which would have favored Texas and Florida, was justified given their states' prominent roles in space shuttle operations. One member of the Texas delegation argued that all missions begin with the same word, "Houston."
Wilson was quick to point out that one of the first astronauts to ever utter "Houston" from space was none other than astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn of Ohio.
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. I'm proud that we were able to amend the language that would have negatively impactedstates 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."