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Space City’s Role in the Future of Space Travel

Space City’s Role in the Future of Space Travel

Johnson Space Center's Control Room (Image by Victor Palomares)

Johnson Space Center’s Control Room (Image by Victor Palomares)

Last week, a new class of eight astronauts-in-training reported to Johnson Space Center to begin two years of training. But training for what, exactly? The shuttle program’s retired – in fact, while the astronauts train, a space shuttle replica currently on display at Space Center Houston will be joined by the shuttle carrier aircraft to form a permanent, six story high walk-through exhibit opening in 2015. It’s an interesting contrast: new astronauts in training, and a mothballed shuttle program on display – both here, in Space City. But what does it mean to be Space City when America’s future of space exploration is so cloudy? What will Houston’s role be in the future of space travel? We spoke with former NASA astronaut Bonnie Dunbar and Steven González, Deputy of the Strategic Opportunities and Partnership Development Office at the NASA/Johnson Space Center.

About the Author

Edel Howlin

Edel HowlinEdel is a producer on Houston Matters and reporter for PBS’s Newshour Weekend. At Houston Public Media, Edel started as a reporter covering veteran issues and the quirkier side of life in Houston. Before her time in public radio she worked for local commercial station Cox as an on air personality, whilst volunteering at KPFT. In 2013, Edel received awards for her stories from the Houston Press Club, the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Texas Veteran's Commission. Before radio, Edel earned a degree in statistics at University College Dublin, Ireland. Quickly realizing that statistics may not be the path for her, she switched gears and went back to study TV and broadcast journalism. Since 2005, she has worked for both local and national stations in Dublin, wearing many hats from news anchor to producer, and reporter. Edel was born and raised in Clane, Co. Kildare, Ireland. She’s lived in Houston since 2008 with her husband and daughter.View all posts by Edel Howlin →