Skip to main content

Shuttle For Sale, High Mileage, One Previous Owner

What better present is there for you favorite interplanetary nerd than the Space Shuttle Discovery? NASA announced that it's putting its whole orbiter fleet up for sale, just in time for the holidays. No joke, just delivery might take a little while.

NASA's fleet of three remaining Space Shuttles, Atlantis, Endeavor and Discovery, are due to retire in 2010, and NASA just opened the bidding to any institution which can display and take care of them afterwards. They're estimating each shuttle to go for at least $42 million after cleaning, transportation and refurbishing costs. If that chunk of change is a bit too steep, they'll be selling the engines by themselves for only around $400,000 apiece.

NASA has already guaranteed the Smithsonian one of the orbiters (even though they already have one), leaving the others up for grabs. The bidding will be left open until Saint Patrick's Day next year, but anyone interested should get their requests in soon. Supplies are limited and this is guaranteed to be a hot item.

If you've got some extra cash and a display space as big as a Boeing 707 laying around, give the nice folks at NASA a buzz. Mostly I think they're looking for a more dignified fate than that of the old unused Russian space shuttle, Buran. At the end of the Cold War, Russia unveiled its own reusable orbiter which looked suspiciously like the American Space Shuttle. After the Buran's one unmanned test flight in 1988, the Russians locked it away in storage until a roof collapse destroyed the vehicle in 2002.

The lesson being; if you do end up with Atlantis Discovery or Endeavor, make sure building inspectors give your display hall the OK first.


Popular Posts

How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why.

Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know: "What's going on in this video ? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream. (We've since updated this article to include the science behind vegan ice cream. To learn more about ice cream science, check out The Science of Ice Cream, Redux ) Image Credit: St0rmz via Flickr Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?