A NASA space shuttle replica in Houston has been vandalized with racial and political graffiti and the police is probing vandals linked with the incident.

The replica of the space shuttle, called Independence, is displayed at the Space Center in Houston, Texas. The Independence stands 123 foot long (37 meters) and arrived in Houston in 2012 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, where it was on display for around 18 years.

The vandals are said to have breached security and jumped over a fence and then used a ladder to get on top of one of the wings of the space shuttle. The vandals responsible for the act sprayed one side of the shuttle with derogatory comments.

One of the graffiti's sprayed in black reads, "Houston we are the problem." The authorities believe that the rest of the graffiti is extremely offensive to be released to the media and, therefore, has been covered. Authorities have also employed people to clean of the graffiti from the space shuttle.

The Space Center claims that the entire vandalism episode has been caught on CCTV camera and police are investigating the video footage to find the people responsible for destroying the space shuttle.

Reports claims that a tour bus operator was the first to discover the vandalism when he dropped off visitors early on Wednesday, November 27, morning.

"To the person who did this: you really need to check yourself, because you're making it bad for all other decent people in this town," said the driver of the tour bus.

The replica space shuttle has once been used to train astronauts as a shuttle mock-up. The space shuttle is scheduled to be mounted on a Boeing 747 shuttle carrier and is expected to be displayed outside Space Center Houston in 2014.

As families were still seen posing for pictures in front of the cleaner side of the space shuttle, the authorities will hope that its cleaning team is able to scrub off the graffiti off the Independence.

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