Want a Space Shuttle Orbiter in your driveway, or a Space Shuttle Main Engine'as a'garden ornament? Better still, do you want to put either or both on public display in your museum? Then let NASA know. The agency has just issued a request for information to find out which 'educational institutions, science museums, and other appropriate organizations' are interested in acquiring Shuttle-related artifacts following the last flight - current scheduled for September 2010.
Before you'register interest'on behalf of your local Boy Scout Troop, be aware there is a catch. NASA expects the recipient to bear the full cost - an estimated $42 million - of getting an Orbiter safe and ready for public display.'That price includes shipping, thankfully - $6 million for delivery by Shuttle Carrier'Aircraft ferry flight from Kennedy Space Center to an airport in the U.S. The Orbiters will not come with main engines, but an SSME will'set you back a mere $400,000-800,000 - sadly shipping is extra in this case.
NASA has reserved one of the three flying Orbiters for the National Air & Space Museum, and is looking'to find'homes for the other two. They are planned to placed in storage at Kennedy and be available after September 2011. NASA wants to get them to their destinations no later than May 2012. There is a caveat. As the RFI notes: 'The Government may elect to change the scheduled date for the last flight.' So don't move that '76 AMC Gremlin off the driveway yet, even though it's been up on bricks for years..."
(Via On Space.)