Buy your own space shuttle, only $42 million + shipping
Posted 03 January 2009 - 06:40 PM
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.
Posted 03 January 2009 - 06:44 PM
"I believe in humanity. We are an incredible species. We're still just a child creature, we're still being nasty to each other, all children go through those phases. We're growing up, we're moving into adolescence now. When we grow up,man,we're going to be something!"Gene Roddenberry 9/4/85
Posted 03 January 2009 - 07:37 PM
So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
Posted 07 January 2009 - 06:18 AM
"So I can squash it." "Are we allowed to squash alien life forms?"
"If they're inside your sleeping bag. There it is. Wait a minute. Where'd you put the phase pistols?"
"You wanna shoot a bug?"
"I'm just gonna stun it."- Tucker and Mayweather
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