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Buy your own space shuttle, only $42 million + shipping


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#1 Captain_Hair

 

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 06:40 PM

Posted ImageBuy your own space shuttle, only $42 million + shipping

Actually, shipping is included. When NASA retires the space shuttle fleet in 2010, they’re going to need somewhere to put Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavour, and they’d prefer they be somewhere that the public can experience them and not a NASA warehouse. They’ll give you the shuttle for free, but you’ll have to pay at least $42 million to get the shuttle prepped and flown to the local airport.

NASA put out a formal request for information on their website, seeking to insure that the shuttles will be properly displayed and used to “inspire the American public and students in particular.” As NASA is busy dealing with cost overruns and building a new launch system to replace the shuttles, they’d prefer to not spend their own money to prepare and transport the shuttles.

And so, NASA estimates that it would cost $42 million to prepare the shuttles for exhibition. $28 million of that fee would be dedicated to ‘safing’ the orbiter, a process that involves removing the fuel systems and other potentially hazardous parts from the craft. Another $8 million would be needed to clean up the shuttle and make it presentable, as up close the shuttles do show their extensive use as actual launch and reentry craft and age (Discovery is 25 years old, Atlantis 24, and Endeavour 16). Lastly, $6 million will be set aside for shipping, which when you consider that it must be loaded on top of one of the only two Boeing 747s specially modified to transport the shuttles (and the fuel costs are horrible - the shuttle has the drag coefficient of a brick).

In addition to public display and $42 million, NASA has more demands. And that’s for an indoor climate-controlled facility to house your shuttle. And not included are the orbiter’s main engines, NASA intends to keep those for additional study. If you want them to build and install some mock nozzles, NASA can do that for you, for an additional undisclosed price. The space agency does have engines of the non-flight-worthy-variety in partially assembled states ranging from $400,000 to $800,000, plus shipping and handling.

There are three space shuttles remaining in the fleet, and NASA will only make two of them available for donation. The third will be set aside for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, that is assuming that they can also pay for and house the shuttle to NASA’s specifications.

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#2 mlaz

 

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 06:44 PM

crazy stuff....
"Tell me and I'll forget, Show me and I might remember, Involve me and I'll understand"
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#3 WeatherManNX01

 

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 06:53 PM

Shoot...do they take PayPal?

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#4 Plazmataz

 

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 07:15 PM

I swear, if I were independently wealthy, I would totally buy Atlantis for my private collection, given that I didn't already spend my life savings on BSG auctions for Raiders and Vipers...
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#5 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 07:37 PM

Actually seriously speaking, that would make one hell of a nice centerpiece to McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center at the Planetarium in Concord. (The planetarium for those who don't remember is named for Christa McAuliffe, she was the teacher who was slated to be the first civilian astronaut and was killed in the Challenger explosion). Given that they might need to expand the project a bit to accommodate the orbiter, and they'd have an interesting journey getting it there, but on the up side Pease ANG base is actually a designated emergency runway for the orbiter so it could be flown in on the carrier plane without a hitch.
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#6 Elf

 

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 06:18 AM

I'll just put it on my credit card. :P
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#7 Guest_thefredster_*

 

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 03:42 PM

I'll just show up with a car trailer and take one piece at a time to avoid the $42 million shipping cost.

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