Vandals spray paint replica shuttle at Space Center Houston


SkyEye HD was over the scene as workers were cleaning it up Wednesday. Right now, the search is on for the person or people who did it, and the vandalism has just sickened people who saw it.

When the first visitors of the day arrived at Space Center Houston, they did a double take when they saw the shuttle replica Shuttle Independence. It had been spray painted with graffiti, an offensive racial slur and phrases, which included, "Houston, we are the problem."

Visitor Wilkins Roman took a picture.

"I just can't believe that people would do stuff like that. Don't see what is the motive to do something like that," Wilkins said.

It happened overnight Wednesday. The replica, which was Houston's consolation prize when other cities were awarded shuttles that had flown in space, is only partially enclosed by a fence. As soon as the damage was documented, a paint crew moved in, painting over the graffiti.

It's not what visitors were expecting to see or hear of on this pre-Thanksgiving Day.

"You would think that they would respect that," Wilkins said.

Space Center Houston issued the following statement after the incident:

"A very unfortunate incident of vandalism occurred at our facility in the early morning hours. We took immediate action to remove the offensive graffiti and are currently working with local authorities to determine who is responsible."

As to the question of why someone would deface this, they may have answered it on one of the wings. The vandal had written, "Sorry, drugs made me do it."

Authorities are reviewing surveillance video to see if that will help them identify who did it.

The Shuttle Independence is a full-size replica of the space shuttle. NASA shuttles that were retired are in museums in suburban Washington, Los Angeles, Cape Canaveral, Fla., and New York.

Find Deborah on Facebook at ABC13DeborahWrigley or on Twitter at @wrigleyabc13

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