In 2011, after thirty years of spaceflight and more than 130 missions, NASA announced the new homes for the soon-to-be retired space shuttle fleet. Shuttle Discovery would be retired to Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, Shuttle Endeavour would go to the California Science Center in Los Angeles and Shuttle Atlantis would remain at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But what about the fourth shuttle? Shuttle Enterprise was the first orbiter built and the one that got its name from Star Trek fans demanding it be named after the fictional space ship. Sure, it never actually went into orbit, but it’s still a space shuttle. In a humiliating slap in Houston’s face, NASA chose to send the Enterprise to…New York City. The shuttle was eventually housed on top of the Intrepid aircraft carrier on the Hudson River, because why not? Outraged Houstonians wondered if NASA forgot about Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center, but they were powerless to change NASA’s mind and get their own retired shuttle. On its final journey, the Shuttle Endeavour left NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on top of a 747 heading for Los Angeles. On this day in 2012, the Shuttle Endeavour flew a lap around Houston, stayed the night at Ellington Field and reminded Houston of its snub.

James Glassman