Space Shuttles: Ten Ways Los Angeles and New York Can Show Theirs Off, Dammit

Categories: NASA

king-kong-shuttle.jpg
Bi-wing airplanes...pfft. Try this on for size, Kong.
This week, we learned that Houston, essentially the birthplace of the space shuttle program, will not be given one of the four remaining shuttles. Two of the four cities receiving them are both deserving and appropriate: Washington D.C. (for the Smithsonian) and Cape Canaveral, Florida, home of Kennedy Space Center. The other two are predictable, if frustrating for those of us who grew up in the shadow of NASA.

It got us to wondering just what Los Angeles and New York City would do with their shuttles. Neither New York nor Los Angeles has any substantial role in our nation's space program, so what would be the point of giving them shuttles? Of course, in Houston, we'd line one up next to one of only three remaining Saturn V rockets sitting at the entrance to the Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake where they, you know, do actual space stuff.

Bitterness aside, we thought since we are so well versed in space travel, we would assist these two cities in figuring out how they might consider using their new tourist attractions.

10. The Ultimate Low Rider
Everyone knows nobody walks in LA, which means everyone needs a ride, the cooler that ride the better. Honestly, is there any better ride than the shuttle? We think not. Drop in some ground effects, a little neon, some hydraulics and, naturally, fuzzy dice on the mirror and that would be one pimped-out shuttle rolling through East LA.

9. Subway Train
In New York, no one drives. Millions, however, take the subway and what better way to pay tribute to America's space program than to bury one of the shuttles underground, transporting grumpy passengers all day long. We recommend either the A or the F line, but that's probably better left to the MTA.

8. Tour Bus: FROM SPACE
Tourists in Hollywood often take tour buses to places like Grauman's Chinese Theatre and along Hollywood Boulevard hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity. Now, the celebrities will want to look at the tourists as they cruise along in a double-decker spacecraft.

7. The Times Square Experience
Sandwiched between the M&M's World Store and Hershey's Times Square, we imagine a vertical, neon-lit shuttle spinning slowly on its axis. Take the elevator to the top and stare out at the teeming masses from the cockpit. Grab a space shuttle-shaped hat in the gift shop on the ground floor. Nothing says "We landed on the moon" like a "We landed on the moon and all I got was this crummy shirt" T-shirt.

6. Staples Center Hood Ornament
When the Lakers are challenging for another title this year or when Justin Bieber brings his tour to Hollywood, a space shuttle perched on the roof of the Staples Center just says "class." Also, it could be a good vantage point for security to keep an eye on gang members as they patrol the parking lot after Clipper games.

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12 comments
Joel Covarrubias
Joel Covarrubias

I agree that NY has no claim on the shuttle. But it was designed and built in California, so that one makes sense.

I would've gone with: Houston, Cape Canaveral, L.A. and the museum outside of D.C.

Torsten Adair
Torsten Adair

It's interesting... Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, but lacks the glamor of NYC, LA, Chicago, and smaller cities like Orlando and Las Vegas (and Austin and Dallas). Maybe it's the sprawl. Perhaps it's the lack of marquee attractions (aside from the JSC, which is a bit out-of-the-way for foreign tourists).

Of course, this is the perfect opportunity for Houston. Instead of complaining, the organizers of the local effort should transition to a different project: a National Shuttle Museum, adjacent to Space Center Houston. Consolidate as many artifacts as possible, before they are dispersed.

Deborah Harris
Deborah Harris

Texas ISN'T OF AMERICA anything. Go back to smoking your dope. We all know here in Texas that's all you're GOOD FOR ANYWAY!

Personnext@yahoo.com
Personnext@yahoo.com

The space shuttle was designed, engineered and built in Los Angeles. Are you really that stupid?

savvysearch
savvysearch

Because having the geniuses at Caltech/JPL engineering, testing, and constructing ALL the Shuttles that were sent to Houston is soooo insignificant.

I'm sorry, but if Houstonians have no idea what JPL is, and that it basically IS the space program, then no wonder they didn't get a space shuttle. it shows they have no interest in it other than seeing it fly in the sky.

Deborah Harris
Deborah Harris

Houston has alway been and alway will be MISSION CONTROL. No one in shit for brains California could EVER put a space shuttle in space!

Proud California
Proud California

Um, the shuttles were engineered and built in SoCal. I think that means California did put the shuttles in space.

savvysearch
savvysearch

"cause Texas is the intellectual center of America with such world class institutions like Caltech, Stanford, The UC system, 3 NASA centers...oh wait....no, that's California.

ribalding
ribalding

But we still have the Astros. Doesn't that make us Space Race Relevant?

(Sure, 42% of Houston-area voters think "space" is just an elaborate hoax to trick Christians into believing in gravity. But that's no reason to re-route federal funds, is it?)

ocean
ocean

No substantial role? The shuttles were designed, built, and made many landings in Southern California. The whiners are bigger in Texas.

Aaron
Aaron

Ocean -

Don't confuse Jeffy with those pesky facts. He just loves going to Space Center Houston and buying the kids some dipping dots...

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