Originally Posted by M Paquette
Since our 'manned space program' will now consist of hitching rides on Soyuz launchers and spacecraft, there isn't much need for manned spaceflight training and mission support. United Spacecraft Alliance (USA) has a mission support contract for the International Space Station that ends in September 2012 to handle Johnson Space Center Mission Operations and Flight Crew Operations.
Past September 2012, we'll have to see if the US government wants to carry support forward, or shift it to one of the other ISS partners.
It's a good point that Houston's role in space flight is certainly changing with what some feel is the ER of the shuttle. Still seems like a significant slap that Houston did not receive one of the shuttles for display.
But the bigger deal for that area is the lost jobs of the various contractors and JSC staff associated with the program. There is no vision for NASA going forward and therefore no jobs to go along with that lack of vision.
Seems like the government never cuts anything but they found a way to cut this program. I'm not commenting one way or the other about if that is a good thing. In may, in fact, in the long run be a good thing. But I know it is a sad thing. It's a sad thing that America no longer leads the way in space exploration and no longer has vision to rally behind. More than anything, it's a sad thing for the people of that area of Houston. The for sale signs are out in force. People are dealing with considering complete career changes. It's an impact to their psyche I guess similar to the dismantling of the steel belt years ago. They are reeling. I'm sure they will be fine in the long run. But for now, things are unsettled in that area.
Attached are a couple of videos put together by everyday people who were part of the shuttle program. It's part of their process for closing the book.
YouTube - The Space Shuttle (Narrated by William Shatner)