Nasa cuts price for space shuttles
Published 16/01/2010 | 07:18
Nasa has slashed the asking price for its soon-to-be-redundant space shuttles from 42 million dollars (£25.8 million) to 28.8 million dollars (£17.7 million).
The shuttles are for sale once they stop flying, supposedly this autumn.
When Nasa put out the call to museums, schools and others in December 2008, seeking buyers, about 20 expressed interest.
Nasa spokesman Mike Curie expects more interest, especially with the discount. "We're confident that we'll get other takers," Mr Curie said.
Discovery is already promised to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. Atlantis and Endeavour are up for grabs. It's possible that Enterprise, a shuttle prototype that never made it to space, also will be available. Enterprise currently is at the Smithsonian.
Mr Curie said no decisions will be made before summer.
The new lower price is based on Nasa's estimate of the cost for transporting a shuttle from Kennedy Space Centre to a major US airport, and for displaying it indoors in a climate-controlled building. The travel cost may vary based on location. Nasa moved up the delivery date to the latter half of 2011, instead of 2012.
Potential customers have until February 19 to put in a request.
As for the space shuttle main engines, those are now free. Nasa advertised them for 400,000 to 800,000 US dollars each in December 2008, but no one expressed interest. So now the engines are available, along with other shuttle artefacts, for the cost of transportation and handling.
Assembly will be required, however.