On April 12, NASA will announce the future homes for its three retiring U.S. space shuttles. The Texans are offering their public support to help bring one of the shuttles home to Houston.
Houston is the home of the Johnson Space Center and mission control. The shuttles were designed here, and astronauts live and train in Houston. Much of NASA's work today is still based in Houston.
"Houston has been at the epicenter of space exploration from the time that John F. Kennedy so memorably expressed our country's space exploration ambitions at Rice Stadium until today," Texans president Jamey Rootes said. "It only makes sense for the shuttle to come home to 'Space City' to be on display on a permanent basis for generations to enjoy as they explore the history of manned space flight at Space Center Houston and the Johnson Space Center."
The Texans have a long-standing relationship with NASA. Reliant Stadium's retractable roof was made possible by NASA technology. Spacesuit fabric from the Apollo Program was developed into a permanent structure fabric that, pound-for-pound, is stronger than steel and weighs less than five ounces per square foot. The fabric is translucent, reducing lighting needs and allowing sunlight to maintain the natural grass playing field.
The team has recognized astronauts on the field at home games in each of the last three seasons, and NASA has been a gracious host to Texans players and staff on guided tours of the Johnson Space Center.