HOUTON -- Officials at the Space Center Houston say one of the retired shuttles should come here, while many other cities are also campaigning to get a shuttle.

They're ready to pay millions to make it happen.

It would be roughly a third of our budget here. Somewhere around $28.8 million $28.4 million, said Richard Allen,
CEO of Space Center Houston.

And that is just the cash that NASA is requiring to get the shuttle ready to be displayed, a charge that is unusual.

Tack on at least $45 million for a building to house the shuttle.

There should be one in Florida. There should be one in Houston and someone can have a left over, he said.

Still 20 museums from Seattle to Ohio and from Texas to Florida are competing for the right to get Endeavor or Atlantis. Discovery is bound for the Smithsonian.

The rest feel like they are flying blind.

We are certainly in the dark on the process and certainly in the dark on what qualifies one to receive the orbiter, he said. That is frustrating.

Officials say that more than 50,000 people have signed a petition to try and bring one of the shuttles here to Houston. But they would also like to think that they have an inherent edge.

Look no further than the mid-deck of the Adventure mock-up.

There is a flight suit hanging there. It is Charlie Bolden's flight suit, he said.

The story goes Bolden himself set the switches in the cockpit to match a landing.

Here's hoping the commander, turned administrator, still has the stick steered toward home.

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