Process to Choose New Orbiter Homes OK with IG

Process to Choose New Orbiter Homes OK with IG

NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has found no evidence of political influence or other improper consideration in the choice of locations for the four space shuttle orbiters.

In a report released today. the OIG said that while NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden was “subject to a great deal of pressure from Members of Congress and other interested parties,” it found “no evidence” that it affected his ultimate decisions. “Moreover, we found no attempt by White House officials to direct or influence Bolden’s decision making” and the NASA process was “consistent with applicable Federal law.”

Some congressional delegations, especially from Texas, home NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the astronaut corps, were extremely upset by the decision not to locate one of the orbiters there. The four remaining orbiters are scheduled to be placed on display in these four locations:

  • Discovery, National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center (replacing the Enterprise which is there now), outside Washington DC
  • Enterprise, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York City
  • Endeavour, California Science Center, Los Angeles
  • Atlantis, Kennedy Space Center, FL

The OIG did criticize NASA for managing the process as though it was a competitive procurement, and for taking so long to make its decision and announce the winners, however.

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