War Of Words Erupts Between NYC And Houston Over Shuttle Enterprise

Texas Rep.: 'First Word On Moon Was 'Houston' Not 'NYC''

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Houston congressman wants to play his own version of “Texas hold ‘em” to keep NASA from sending one of its retiring space shuttles to New York City.

But Sen. Chuck Schumer isn’t having it.

Giving New York City — and not Houston — one of the space shuttles is, to quote a popular Texas saying, “as welcome as a skunk at a lawn party.” And Houston Congressman Ted Poe has introduced legislation to stop NASA from doing it.

“It’s my opinion that Houston certainly was robbed of one of the space shuttles,” said Rep. Poe, a Republican.

The congressman told Kramer he blames President Barack Obama for making a “political decision” to send the Shuttle Enterprise to be exhibited at the Intrepid Museum in blue state New York, not the Johnson Space Center in red state Texas.

“There’s a lot of great things about New York, but the NASA program is not one of the things that’s relevant to New York. It would be like putting the Statue of Liberty in Omaha, Neb. The first word on the moon was ‘Houston.’ It was not ‘New York City,’” Poe said.

But to use another Texas phase, “that dog won’t hunt,” Poe’s efforts to derail the shuttle wont work according to New York Sen. Schumer.

“I would say to Congressman Poe what we say in Brooklyn, ‘fuhgettaboutit,’” Schumer told Kramer.

The senator said NASA gave New York the shuttle for a simple reason.

“What NASA was looking for is ‘what is the capital of the world? Where will the most people see the shuttle?’ In New York; not in Houston, Texas,” Schumer said.

People who live and work here agree.

“It should come to New York. There’s more tourists in New York. People will come and see it. Texas? Who goes to Texas?” said Alex Cummings of Fort Lee, N.J.

“I think it deserves to be in New York. New York is basically the capital of the world,” Jericho, N.Y. resident Larry Hyams added.

The shuttle is expected to draw an additional 1 million visitors a year to what is already a very popular attraction on the Intrepid.

Congressman Poe’s bill would essentially stop payment of the funds needed to move the shuttle enterprise to the Big Apple. Schumer reiterated Poe has no chance of winning.

You think Houston has a legitimate gripe? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Marcia Kramer
  • Is NASA For Muslim Outreach???

    New York City primarily sees the retired Space Shuttles as being a money making tourist attraction.

    Houston primarily sees the retired Space Shuttles as honoring Challenger, Columbia and all of our astronaut corps who have trained at Johnson Space Center.

    • Andrew

      Why shouldn’t it come to Houston to honor the fallen and to Honor the home base of all shuttle activity. All Ny. wants it for is to make money, Don’t you already have enough tourist attractions. At least We want it in Houston for the right purpose and not Greed. like ny needs anymore moneymakers

  • Jim

    Remember that the only reason Mission Control is in Houston is because Lyndon Johnson used his influence as president to open a facility in his home state. Texas is now getting a taste of their own medicine.

    • Illinois Certified History Teacher

      You obviously don’t know history- Houston was mission control LONG before Johnson was president. The mission control center in Houston, originally known as the Manned Spacecraft Center, was constructed on land donated by Rice University and opened in early 1963 under the Kennedy Administration. Houston was picked because NASA wanted a location that had a central time zone and was closest to the Equatorial tracking plane… the Earth’s equator! That’s a Fact!

      • Loreece

        Texas Certified Texan

        You obviously forgot the beginning of your “history lesson ”

        NASA’s center in Houston has its origins in legislation shepherded to enactment in 1958 by then-U.S. Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, who was from Texas. Then called simply the “Manned Spacecraft Center”, it was opened in 1961..

        Johnson started the ball rolling with the legislation and Kennedy picked up the ball when he made the goal in 1961 to “put a man on the Moon by the end of the decade”.

    • Loreece

      Johson got it done didn’t he?

  • Rick Oehring

    This is the guy to write to tell him him what a stupid decision this is:


    What a slap in the face to the family members of the living and deceased Astronauts who died on Challenger and Columbia.

    besides didnt we put the slap down on the Knicks in the finals? Ha Ha

  • SweetCherie

    Just like Obama to deal in poliitics as a over something so important as this. Houston is the home of the shuttle, It’s here it dont need to be moved costing more tax payers money. The men and women that have die and risked so much for the space program in the Houston area. Should have their names on a plack. So not only did Obama cancel the space program which causes lay offs and more unemployment in the area. But nowhe takes away something that belongs to Houston and can create new jobs by having it here. I cant believe 53% of Americans voted for this fool to began with. Whats worst is 23% still wants to vote for him. Can wee SAY DUMMM DUMMMM.

  • txmom

    I was born and raised in Houston. Have been to NYC twice and still have not seen everything I want to see. I think the space shuttle would be the last thing on my list to visit in NYC even if I wasn’t from Houston. Who has time to visit a shuttle in NY?.. When I was there I had the mindset that everyone was going to be so rude, but the people I asked for directions etc…were very nice – except the police… Now I hear this Senator Schumer and see that NY is probably divided…just as Texas is…it depends on how you are raised… I am nice to everyone and try to put myself in others shoes….NYC already has all they need for tourists and we don’t… we need more to help our city to actually draw more tourists….but improvement to NASA would have helped our city! We are supposed to be UNITED STATES….Not United States and New York… I can also see it going to Florida since the shuttles took off from there…. But what does NY have to do with Space Flight? Tourist numbers is not good enough…NY already has tourists!

  • Megan Lambert

    My main complaint here is to you. As a Houstonian your “sayings” are not “popular” by any means. I have lived in Houston my entire life and have never heard either of those things. It’s as if you are trying to belittle us by using sayings from decades ago. Houston attracts many tourists, especially NASA. But obviously our numbers are no where near NYC so we should have the shuttle. It belongs in the Space City where the brave astronauts are from. My problem is not with New York, it is with NASA and Schumer and arrogant people.

  • Alif

    I think New York and Sen. Chuck Schumer need to “fuhgettaboutit” since they are so good at it. Don’t Mess With TEXAS!! or HOUSTON!!! or you will get HORNS!!! Sen. Schumer.

    • Loreece

      Doesn’t Schumer have an EGO bigger than DALLAS……too bad his common sense or decency genes aren’t as big as his ego.

  • Ashleypaige

    This upsets me!!! I can see why we are angry about not getting the shuttle. New York, thinks Texas is full of cowboys and horses. They have no idea how many people travel here every year. I met someone from NY and she said she couldn’t move to Texas because she didn’t know how to ride a horse. Hahaha.

    • Bobby W

      We shouldn’t even retire the birds! Keep them flying….I mean who wants to go back tot he 1960’s where we parachute down instead of fly down as we return from missions? Thanks Obama, for devolving us!

  • Bob

    So three shuttles go to blue states on the east coast and one goes to a blue state on the west coast. Texas, red state, gets squat despite Houston’s title of “Space City, USA”.
    Politics stink. Politics used to punish a state reeks.
    Ah well….eventually, Obama and Boldin will be out, and the trainwreck that NASA has become will recover.

  • Marc Grossberg

    I am a life-long Democrat – I rang doorbells for Adlai, was an advanceman for HHH, was a part of Obama’s voter protection program in Columbus in 2008, but I have written my last check to the DNC and the Democrats Senate campaign committee. Houston and the Space Program and NASA are as one and if Senator Schumer is right about what he says, why would anything be anyplace but New York. Who goes to Gettysburg? Send the battleground to New York City. But people actually do come to Houston, from Paris, Bejing, and other places, to go to the Texas Medical Center, to do business with the most sophisticated natural resource technology businesses in the world, to learn at intellectually superior schools of higher education, for many other reasons, including to visit NASA. And there is the 4 million or so that live in the area.

  • Wehavebetterthingstodo

    How about our politicians focus on actually doing the jobs they were elected to do? They were six months (and 7 continuing resolutions) late in passing the nation’s budget. They take every opportunity to argue over something as petty as this. Meanwhile they’re driving the whole country into the toilet – doesn’t matter whether they are Republican or Democrat. Would someone please step up and take the wheel before we go off the cliff?

    • Bob Francis

      Why not just burn all but one, and give the one to the Smithsonian and be done with it.

      Of course we can’t because of politics!

  • Chris

    NY the capital of the world? Why does it not surprise me that NYers believe that? It isn’t even the capital of the US. A shrine to the shuttle program has more business being in South Dakota than NY.

    • Another Chris

      Heh – NYC is not even the capital of NY.

  • James

    Keep the bird, it’s an imitation that never went to space. NYC deserved better than the knock off we are getting. Besides, it comes with a 29 million dollar fee for shipping and handling. We should have purchased Captains Sully’s plane that landed a few feet from the Intrepid and refused to sink. That plane was recently for sale by the insurance company who ended up paying for it for a bargain basement price. Now that was a true New York story. We arrest people who sell knock off’s in the streets of our City, why are we purchasing a knock off of the real deal?

  • Life Goes On

    As a New Yorker, I would not have lost sleep had we not been awarded the Shuttle. There are so many other touristy things to do in our city that losing out on a shuttle, which never went into space, isn’t a big deal. It is weird to think that the Johnson Space Center in Houston will not have a Shuttle to display. Rep Poe does have a point, but his partisanship and divisiveness get in the way.

  • Angelique Miles

    Gas is $4.00 a gallon. I couldn’t care less where they put the shuttle.

  • Chis Madison

    It should be placed in NY. More people travel to NY to see the sights, and a space shuttle should be here for everyone to see.


    Don’t y’all get it?

    These Texans really look down on us New Yawkers I know this for a fact. They watched too many Sopranos movies and they ain’t liken what they see.
    When you deal with them they have their not so subtle of a way to make you feel like you ain’t really part of this here US of A. Combined with that they are still grieving about getting their butt whupped by a bunch New Yawkers

    • Houston We Have A Problem... With NY

      Look dude obviously from what I read above you people think your hot stuff, but you guys really didn’t have anything to do with NASA this is political garbage. Sorry to deflate your big head a little bit, but it should’ve gone to Texas. Deal with it.

      • Auburn Dale

        No, Texas should have gotten a REAL shuttle that actually FLEW in outer space. The Enterprise is just a mock-up, a test version. Why is Texas so hell-bent over a FAKE?

    • Megan Lambert

      As if you don’t look down on us with you typed “accent”. Houstonians are very liberal and intelligent and don’t speak stereotypically southern as you apparently think we do. I love New York and have visited before. I even planned on moving there but am having second thoughts thanks to Schumer and arrogant people like you. I’m sure I won’t be missed by people like you.

    • Houston, Texas!!!

      Just so you know… I am from Houston, Texas and I have been experiencing this “oh so awesome” state of New Yawk or York as we say in a proper venacular for the past year and everyone has been rude and disrespectful. That is the main reason we look down on New Yawkers or Yorkers, it has nothing to do with television or even the Sopranos which was based out of New Jersey or is it New Jawsey? Houston deserves the space shuttle and not New York…

  • Ed Kyle

    If the criteria was the number of potential exhibit visitors, New York should have received a real orbiter, along with Los Angeles and Chicago. Enterprise, the “fake” orbiter that New Yorkers are complaining about, should have gone to fourth place Dallas/Ft. Worth – in Texas.

    • Mauricio Londono

      Well Said!!

    • Lee

      It’s not the number of potential visitors it’s gotta be a political move.

    • caltexhawk

      Taking that line of reason to an extreme and suddenly London or Berlin get a shuttle!

  • Remember Challenger and Columbia!

    The List Should Have Been:
    1. Smithsonian, Washington D.C. – The Discovery, the shuttle with the most flights at our National Museum.
    2. Kennedy Space Center, Florida – The Atlantis, the last flight for the Shuttle Program.
    3. Johnson Space Center, Houston – The Endeavour, for Houston being the center of Manned Space Flight.
    4. Edwards Air Force Base, California (Los Angeles, CA) –The Enterprise, for Edwards Air Force Base being the landing site of the 1st flight of the Enterprise.

    • Laila

      I agree with you. Seems to be a political move to me.

    • clark

      Perfect list!!! Politics drove the bus…

    • Megan Lambert

      I agree.

    • Houston, Texas!!!

      Well said!!! You have my vote on this!

  • Master_Yoda

    we are ONE NATION under God. This shuttle was built with taxpayer money from all over the country. idiot Poe is trying to score a political point to raise some money.

    but seriously, NYC is the greatest city on earth. PERIOD. the shuttle here will make NYC proud & this nation proud when people from all over the world visit it.

    But Houston, dont worry we’ll call you if we have a problem.

    • ThanksObamaForShowingUsIfWeVoteForYouYou'llGiveUsASpaceShuttle

      You really don’t see how important Texas especially Houston is to this country do you? Oh well if Texas secedes don’t coming crying to me for oil.

      • Megan Lambert

        As a Texan I get so annoyed when we mention succession. I disagree with Master_Yoda but we are one nation.

    • Caltexhawk

      I suspect the residents of Berlin, Paris or London would tend to argue Mr. Period.

    • Rhonda Omberg

      Tax money? Okay, we’ll take Yankee Stadium, then. Wasn’t that built with tax money?

      • DrRandy

        Not with Federal tax dollars, it wasn’t.

    • kstinson3

      Do you ever get out of town, Master_ Yoda? The U.S. is filled with beautiful places and loving people. Putting the shuttle in New York makes as much sense as putting the 9/11 memorial in Clear Lake. New York is a place you have to go to get to other places. Upstate New York is beautiful. Not dirty like NYC. I don’t have an allegiance to either place. Just common sense.

  • Javier Re (from Puerto Rico)

    I think all the space shuttles should be in some museum somewhere. Now let’s think this through, the majority or at least half of these shuttles should be in Houston and the first shuttle put in a museum should definitely be in Houston. Why, because Houston deserves it, the station of the program is based there. Then there should also be a shuttle in Florida ,in or near the Kennedy Space Center, where the launch site is located. And then perhaps one in New York City because of its massive of tourism.

  • Auburn Dale

    Why is Houston fighting over the one shuttle that never actually flew in space? Since Houston is home to the Johnson Space Center (which I have visited), Rep. Poe should be fighting for one of the other shuttles which DID fly in space and DID communicate with Mission Control.

  • Robert Greiner

    Yes the first words on the Moon was Huston…..spoken from the Luner Lander Built in New York by Grumman Aerospace on Long Island N.Y.

    • Lee

      Show me proof.

    • Rt 119 by the marriot

      Designed in Tarrytown NY

    • Lee

      BTW the family members of astronauts killed in the Columbia and Challenger disasters WHO LIVE IN HOUSTON are very upset by NASA/Obama’s decision, but you know who cares about them right? As long as New York is happy it doesn’t matter how anyone else is feeling right?

  • DP

    NYC never had anything to do with the program. FL, TX, CA did. These shuttles should go where the programs are run.

    • Auburn Dale

      That’s why we’re getting the one shuttle that never left orbit. The other places should get the shuttles that actually flew in outer space.

  • Marty

    Do we really need another attraction in NYC for crying out loud??? Texas should have one of these! Obama should not be involved with this decision.


    New Yorkers have big egos

    Texans have big egos.

    put em both in a shoe box, bet on the winner.

    Who do you think would win?

    • Lee

      My money’s on Texas. New Yorkers seem to be full of hot air.

  • Borsia Novak

    There are 3 shuttles remaining. One should go to Texas where NASA is based. One should go to California where they often landed. One should go to DC / NY the capitol.

  • Morto

    I think it should rot from rocksalt in a State where welfare people could pass by and spray paint it! Isn’t that what America is all about?

    • Lee

      Wow and where do you get your information from?

  • Isaac Humphrie

    As a native Texan, I think it is a disgrace that a Texan would make this a battle of the Cities. It’s fine to disagree with the fact that the shuttle will not be in Houston, where I think it belongs, but to say, Obama made a political decision to put the shuttle in NYC is nonsense. Obama doesn’t need to pander to us, in the blue. He should be trying to get the red on his side. Which means, he would have put it in Houston if it were all about politics. That’s just my opinion. However, if we’re going to make this about the better city. I hate to say it, but I think NYC would be better. This city has way more tourist. Which means, more people would see the shuttle, and isn’t that they whole point. How care where it’s located. It’s not like they moved the whole space program.

    • Lee

      Obama appointed the guy who made the decision it’s stupid to say he had no input.

      • Josh

        It’s equally stupid to think the President would get involved in something as trivial as where 4 space shuttles are put on exhibit.

    • Michael

      Congress specifically stated that the decisions for where the shuttles should go should be based on places with historical ties to NASA, and specifically the shuttle program. Nobody in their right mind would leave Houston out of the top 4 cities on that list. It doesn’t matter that New York has more tourists – New York has squat to do with the shuttle program compared to Houston.

      Houston deserves a piece of something the entire community has supported and worked on for decades – the space program is part of the identity of Houston. Who you take it from doesn’t matter to me, but New York obviously has the worst case of any of the locations.

  • sam

    Everything in this country is tainted by politics. Attention seeking politicians politicize any matter political or not, and then politically tackle the subject, to bring more political attention.

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