Tulsa's High Hopes To Land Space Shuttle

Tuesday, April 20th 2010, 4:59 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

CATOOSA, OK -- A Sooner state flyover by the Space Shuttle Discovery is creating quite a buzz in parts of the Tulsa area. It was hard to see, but some folks were lucky enough to be looking in just the right spot to watch Discovery streak past the skies, on its way to a landing in Florida.

4/20/2010 Related Story: Space Shuttle Discovery Passes Over NE Oklahoma

That's how the day started for students at Catoosa's Wells Middle School.

"We were like just looking around, trying to look forward then we finally seen it," said Checotah Fox, a 7th grade student.

"It was very cool," said Jake Ramsey, an 8th grade student.

"We were all hoping that it was just going to land and go on display at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum right then," said Jim Bridenstine, director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.

Bridenstine hopes a shuttle will one day land in Tulsa. The museum is in the running to become a permanent home for a shuttle after the fleet is retired.

7/05/2009 Related Story: Oklahoma Astronaut Wants Space Shuttle For Tulsa

"We have a dedication to education which is something NASA requires," he said.

Tulsa also has the required 10,000 foot runway, plus a great central US location.

Oklahoma has a long list of contributions to the space program, and a current, active aerospace industry.

"We have an aerospace industry right here at Tulsa International that is capable of supporting the space shuttle after it is delivered," Bridenstine said.

A campaign is underway to generate support for Tulsa's bid.

"I think it would be really cool because kids would like learn history of it, and like see it and be able to go inside," Fox said.

"All the kids could see how it worked, all the time and effort people put into building these things," said Jacob Boyce, a 7th grade student.

The museum has backing from congressional delegations from Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas.

"We're the only state right now that has support from more states than its own," Bridenstine said.

The first hurdle is to get on NASA's short list of sites, and then Congress will have the final say.

The Tulsa Air and Space Museum is holding the Quik Trip Air and Rocket Racing Show to raise money and awareness with NASA about efforts to get a shuttle.

It's Saturday at the museum, which is on the north side of the airport. Ticket Information