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[i]Rather than schedule the Cocoa Beach Air Show during its usual time slot in late October, he moved the event to mid-September in hopes the timing would coincide with the transfer of shuttle Endeavour from Kennedy Space Center to a Los Angeles museum.
But it didn't — he missed by at least two days — and now Lilley is pulling every string he can to convince NASA to delay Endeavour's departure so that the orbiter and its 747 can take a star turn at his two-day air show, which starts Sept. 22.
"People will come from all over the country to see something like this," said Lilley, president of the air show.
So far, Lilley has recruited the help of Florida's two U.S. senators, Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, as well as U.S. Reps. Bill Posey of Rockledge and Sandy Adams of Orlando. The four lawmakers earlier this year asked NASA chief Charlie Bolden to change the Endeavour departure date to accommodate the air show, as well as to honor KSC.
"The event would not only provide a larger audience for the flight, it would give the dedicated Space Shuttle workforce a final chance to bid farewell alongside their Space Coast friends and family," the four Florida legislators wrote Bolden.
So far, though, NASA has said no.
"In order to maintain delivery schedules and minimize cost, logistical complexity, and liability, NASA does not plan to have the Orbiter … take part in the air show, though the Agency appreciates the invitation and interest," the agency wrote.[/i]
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