WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), today expressed disappointment with NASA’s decision on which cities will showcase the historic shuttles. 

“The vastly imaginative minds that sent our nation into space failed to think outside the box with today’s decision that appears grounded in politics,” said Inhofe.  “I am extremely proud of the team at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum who put together a great plan.  The costs associated with the shuttle would have been steep, but ever since I was mayor, we have declared Tulsa the aviation capital, and this would have certainly enhanced that.  Tulsa’s plan would have made the shuttle orbiter the centerpiece of an ambitious education effort for the entire central region of the United States.  Today’s announcement is indeed disappointing.” 

NASA announced today that the shuttle Enterprise will be housed at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. The shuttle Discovery will be located at the Udvar-Hazy Center in the Washington, D.C. metro area.  Shuttle Endeavour will land at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, and Atlantis will be on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex in Florida.

Tulsa has a long history with NASA and the Space Shuttle:

Ø  Tulsa created the Delta Program that launched America’s first communications satellites into space.

Ø  Tulsa built the largest components of the Saturn Rockets that took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon.

Ø  Tulsa built the Bay Doors on the Space Shuttles.

Ø  Tulsa built the Strongbacks that make the Bay Doors rigid on deck.

Ø  Tulsa built 11 major truss structures on the International Space Station.

Ø  The P1 truss was built in Tulsa and assembled in space by Oklahoma Astronaut John Herrington.

Ø  Tulsa built the Integrated Electrical Assemblies (IEAs) that maneuver the solar arrays on the International Space Station.

Ø  Tulsa built the A-Frames that lift and maneuver the Shuttle for the launch stack.

Ø  Tulsa modified the first 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.  It was an American Airlines 747 and was accepted by NASA in Tulsa.

Ø  The Space Shuttle Enterprise visited Tulsa in 1979 as a reward to Tulsa’s workforce which has always supported NASA.