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Space Shuttle on Bargain-Basement Clearance

This is a tad depressing: NASA has slashed the price of a surplus Space Shuttle from last year's $42 million to $28.8 million, and moved the "gotta clear 'em out!" date from next year to the fall of this year.


Click the image to see the story.

Even more depressing is that no one wanted to buy the engines or other artifacts, so they're now available free (plus shipping and handling).

C'mon, Rich People, don't you want to build an awesome museum around one of these puppies? Or donate them to the appropriate air & space museums? Geez, doesn't it cost more to replace the heat tiles on these than they're charging? I feel like my childhood has been put on fire-sale. Thanks (?) to james_nicoll for the heads-up.

Note to self: Must get down to the Cape some time this year if I want to see a Shuttle launch. I doubt any buyers will be flying these things.

EDIT: Here's NASA's Shuttle and Rocket Launch Schedule. Seems like a heavy schedule, but only a few months planned in advance.

Chris

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
clevermanka
Jan. 19th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
That's sad news. =(

Look up possible dates for launch. Sounds like a good vacation to me!
mckitterick
Jan. 19th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
Must See Launch! Adding schedule to post, above....
clevermanka
Jan. 19th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
The March date would coincide with the vacation days I'm already planning to take!
nojay
Jan. 19th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
They're white elephants (well, the same colour). Any buyer of a Shuttle will have to drop an 8-digit chunk of cash on the purchase. It then needs to be shipped to its final destination, more megabucks and then it needs to be housed appropriately, very much more megabucks. Assuming it is on display for twenty years or more it will require conservation and structural maintenance, lots more bucks ongoing. My BOTE guesstimate is that a proud owner would need to budget 100 mill or so over a twenty year period to take on the responsibility of owning one of these Triumphs of Modern Technology from the early 70s, and never have the pleasure of actually flying in it. I doubt very much that you can sell enough tickets to gawkers to even come close to breaking even on the deal.
mckitterick
Jan. 19th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
True, but it's still sad to be in their last year of operation. The pefect solution would be to give NASA cash to keep their Shuttles nearby - the transportation money could be used build and maintain a museum for it.

Oh! And maybe the last landing in the Mojave - which is conveniently close to the new spaceport - could provide an awesome centerpiece for the spaceport's waiting area....
silverfae
Jan. 20th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
Errr.. the Mojave (Edwards AFB CA) landing site is still 800 miles away across two states.
Are you thinking of the emergency landing site at White Sands, NM?

You know, I think one of those big buggers would make an awesome little NM home, where's my lottery ticket?!!
mckitterick
Jan. 20th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
Heh. Yes, that's what I meant!
silverfae
Jan. 20th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)

I think it might be really really um.. challenging.. Heh, to get one up through the NM mountains, but they take other things apart to transport them, why not a shuttle?

Did you see there's a tour/open house of Spaceport America along with the Trinity Base coming up this spring?

My big regret is not being able to see a shuttle landing in Cali when I lived so close to the place, it seemed I was always out of town.

ericreynolds
Jan. 19th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
I would really hate to see the shuttle go the same way the Saturn V did. From what I hear we now know very little technical details about the Saturn V. And $28.8 million sounds like an incredible bargain.
mckitterick
Jan. 19th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
One of the most-depressing things I've ever read is that NASA recycled and thus lost the Saturn V blueprints... which, after a cursory search, turns out to be untrue... so in theory (if we could re-make all the vintage parts), we could build the Saturn V again. That's a wow.

If only we had just kept that program alive.
normalcyispasse
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
I read that the other day.

Kinda makes me want to pick up an engine, though. . .
mckitterick
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
My thought exactly. Imagine the possibilities....
tully01
Jan. 19th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
Amen. I think there's a lot more potential in the engines than in the whole birds.
madmatmax
Jan. 20th, 2010 04:31 am (UTC)
The cosmosphere has an F1 Saturn 5 rocket motor on display. I am kind of surprised they dont pick up some of it
mckitterick
Jan. 20th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
I would hope they get something by the end of the fire-sale. They had better, or I'll be very disappointed.
madmatmax
Jan. 20th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
They already said they aren't interested in having a shuttle on display as they already have a mock up of the interior and would have to build a separate building just so people can look out the outside. I would imagine they will get some components.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )