Got a parking spot for a discounted spaceship?

Energy & Sustainability Fun & Games
Got a parking spot for a discounted spaceship?

NASA has a closeout sale on their aging fleet of orbiters. Want to have one in your town?

The schedule for transferring the orbiters may be six months earlier than originally anticipated. NASA also desires to make selections a year before receipt of the orbiters, so recipient organizations will have sufficient time to conduct any fundraising activities necessary to support preparation and ferry costs.

NASA is planning to transfer space shuttle Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum. Shuttle orbiters Endeavour and Atlantis will be available for placement no earlier than July, 2011.

Where would you like to see the Space Shuttles end up? Check out the RFI for specifics.

12 thoughts on “Got a parking spot for a discounted spaceship?

  1. alandove says:

    I would absolutely love to see a space shuttle turned into an artificial reef for scuba diving. It would have to be cleaned, of course, which would be an expensive process, but an underwater attraction like that could bring a lot of tourist dollars to an appropriate diving destination. Someplace tropical – perhaps South Florida – would be ideal.

    Divers already book pricey vacations to visit deliberately submerged ships around the world, but a shuttle would have a huge edge over those destinations. One could enjoy the same views and sense of weightlessness as an astronaut, while gliding over a piece of genuine astronaut equipment. Short of becoming a bazillionaire and booking a multi-million-dollar tourist launch, it would be the closest one could get to real spaceflight. It would also provide lots of photo ops and publicity for NASA, and the images would only get better and more otherworldly as the shuttle accumulated reef life.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You could call it the Challenger memorial reef.

  3. Volkemon says:

    @ alandove- Being a lucky space coast resident, We get to keep one. And the memories of watching them take off and land in our backyard.

    But a reef?!? Suitable place for a ship that wont float (the bottom!) but for a spaceship that will not see space?

    OK…emotional gut reaction over.sorry :O

    The artificial reef idea is a worthy program, and the economics are evident. But the shuttle is not a worthy canidate for reef starting. The cleaning process is far more complex and expensive than one would imagine, and would require disassembly to complete. The remainder that would be approved for long term submergence in salt water to support sea life would hardly look like a “virtual space walk under water” to divers.

    Would MAKE a cool beachside/surf/dive shop though…gut it out for max interior volume, outside tables,seating under the fuselage and wings. Just be sure it is anchored well for hurricanes- or it may see orbit again :)

    1. alandove says:

      I know about the cleaning process for artificial reefs, which is quite complex for ships, but the large number of those already on the bottom shows that it can be done. I find it hard to imagine that the shuttle would be much more difficult to clean than, say, a decommissioned Navy missile launcher. Yes, it would take money, time, and a mix of highly motivated volunteers and well-paid professionals, but it could be done, and I think there would be enough remaining structure to represent the shuttle pretty well.

  4. ryan says:

    If I had the time and financial backing, I’d buy one and take it apart. Then start a business selling the parts to collectors! That way, anybody could own a piece of the history (like the berlin wall)…

  5. Anonymous says:

    I hope the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry gets one. It would certainly make it more publicly accessible than an underwater reef. Something similar to the guided tours they have through that German submarine would be great.

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