Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shuttle Void

Back in August I did quite a bit of research after a space shuttle was awarded to the Intrepid Museum. I found it extremely hurtful that yet one more space artifact landed on the east coast. I was so disgusted and emotionally disturbed once the data was laid out, I never posted it. The bad attitude of the ungrateful recipients of Enterprise DID NOT help. And now on this glorious anniversary as our beautiful and amazing flying machines begin to be relegated to educational tools and relics, the water cooler and social media discussion picks back up. Asked to post my effort, here it is.

The stars on the US maps represent publicized bids for the space shuttles and whether they got a trainer or a real shuttle vehicle.First and foremost - the Space Shuttles were awarded to places with the most visitors. FALSE As you see in the below graphic, the Intrepid gets no more annual visitors than JSC.
Second - the Space Shuttles will be distributed evenly amongst the country's population. FALSE As you can see the below graphic the bulk of the country received no shuttle. One shuttle (as expected) on the west coast for 15.43% of the US population. What disgusted me the most was THREE space shuttles on the east coast - 75% of the space shuttles for only 36.78% of the US population.
Let's look at flown spacecraft distribution across our country. Seattle has NONE. I would have preferred the fourth shuttle to go to Seattle over NYC. At least they would have the ability to mount it on top of a 747 to illustrate the ferry/test flight mode - a unique opportunity for sure. The index on this graphic illustrates whether the spacecraft was manned.
So, where does that leave JSC? The center that trained EVERY SINGLE shuttle astronaut. The center with Mission Control that controlled EVERY SINGLE minute a space shuttle was in space. The graphic below shows where the trainers are going. I found no published data back in August on the locations of the MDF and SST-3.
So, there you go. At least KSC was nice enough to give us their old full-sized shuttle model. Greatly appreciative! And... we get a shuttle access arm and White Room! ;) Suck it, NYC!

Bottom Line - the decision was made by a secretary with no real mathematical justification. Great leadership...

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