History in orbit

NASA holds a crazy, going-out-of-business sale: Need a launch pad? Bid now!

NASA holds a crazy, going-out-of-business sale: Need a launch pad? Bid now!

Launch Pad 39A, Endeavour, shuttle, NASA, sale, January 2013
Launch Pad 39A, where shuttles blasted off into space, is up for grabs.  Wikipedia.com
Vehicle Assembly Building, NASA, sale, January 2013
The Vehicle Assembly Building was first used to assemble Saturn V-Apollo rockets. Photo by MrMiscellanious/Wikipedia
NASA, runway, sale, January 2013
Need a 15,000-foot landing strip? The Shuttle Landing Facility is one of the largest runways ever built, and it could be yours for the right price.  NASA.gov
NASA, parachute, shuttle, sale, January 2013
Or a parachute packing plant? NASA.gov
Launch Pad 39A, Endeavour, shuttle, NASA, sale, January 2013
Vehicle Assembly Building, NASA, sale, January 2013
NASA, runway, sale, January 2013
NASA, parachute, shuttle, sale, January 2013

Now that the space shuttle program has been relegated to history, NASA is holding something of a going-out-of-business sale to distribute its Kennedy Space Center effects — although even the most avid space enthusiasts may not find these up-for-grabs items appealing. 

As the Orlando Sentinel reports, the list of pieces for use, lease or outright purchase includes a shuttle launch pad, space in the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building or a 15,000-foot landing strip.

 NASA says "proposals should be space-related, though the agency will consider alternative uses under certain circumstances."  

NASA needs to transfer these items — and fast — before federal maintenance funding runs out at the end of 2013. Officials worry that the facilities and machinery will deteriorate and rust in the Cape Canaveral environment without upkeep.  

The space agency has been quietly receiving bids and proposals from commercial space companies and the public-private space agency Space Florida for the items, and Joyce Riquelme, NASA's director of KSC planning and development, expects that the first deals should start coming together within the next six months.

This reallocation of on-site assets will further NASA's goal of transforming Kennedy Space Center into "an affordable and sustainable multiuser space port of the future."

So if you're in the market for an Orbiter Processing Facility or a launch control center, now's the time to act. As the Orlando Sentinel notes, NASA says "proposals should be space-related, though the agency will consider alternative uses under certain circumstances."