In this image provided by NASA the space shuttle Endeavour, fresh from the STS-126 mission and mounted atop its modified Boeing 747 carrier aircraft, flew over California's Mojave Desert on its way back to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday Dec. 10, 2008.

NASA's soon-to-be-retired space shuttles are up for grabs. The space agency said Wednesday it's looking for ideas on where and how best to display its space shuttles once they stop flying in a few years. It's put out a call to schools, science museums and "other appropriate organizations" that might be interested in showcasing one of the three remaining shuttles.

NASA estimates it will cost about $42 million to get each shuttle ready and get it where it needs to go, and the final tab could end up much more.

The estimate includes $6 million to ferry the spaceship atop a modified jumbo jet to the closest major airport. But the price could skyrocket depending on how far the display site is from the airport. Only indoor, climate-controlled displays will be considered.

"The orbiters will not be disassembled for transportation or storage," NASA insists in its nine-page request for information.

One space shuttle appears headed to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington. The remaining two would be placed in storage at Kennedy Space Center until their final homes are decided.

If a space shuttle is too pricey, NASA is offering some of its shuttle main engines for anywhere between $400,000 and $800,000, not counting shipping costs.

The space shuttles, so you know, will not come with any main engines.

NASA plans to retire Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour by Sept. 30, 2010, in keeping with President George Bush's initiative calling for a return by astronauts to the moon by 2020. A transition team set up by President-elect Barack Obama is reviewing all the options, however, including the possibility of keeping the shuttles flying beyond 2010.

If that happens, then all space shuttle deals are off.

美国宇航局三架几年后将退役的航天飞机目前正接受公开投标。据美国宇航局于本周三介绍,这几架航天飞机退役后将用于展览,目前他们正公开招标,选择最合适的展览地和展览方案。该机构已将招标信息告知学校、科技博物馆及“其它相关机构”等可能对此感兴趣的单位。

据美国宇航局估算,将每架航天飞机装好并运至展览地大约需花费4200万美元,而且最终的费用可能会更高。

其中,将航天飞机放到改装后的大型喷气式飞机顶部并运送至最近的机场需花费600万美元。但具体费用的多少还得取决于展地与机场的距离,如果离机场很远,运费会更高。此外,展览地点必须在室内,而且可调节温度。

美国宇航局在长达九页的招标书中强调“航天飞机不能拆卸运输或存放。”

其中一架航天飞机将运往位于华盛顿的史密森研究院国家航空航天博物馆,另外两架在确定展览地之前将被存放在肯尼迪航天中心。

如果无法承受整架航天飞机的价格,美国宇航局还可提供航天飞机的主发动机供展览,价格在40万美元至80万美元之间,但不包含运费。

所以有意投标的单位要知道,整架航天飞机是不包括主发动机的。

美国宇航局的三架航天飞机——“发现号”、“亚特兰蒂斯号”和“奋进号”将于2010年9月30日退役,以响应布什总统提出的2020年之前派美国宇航员重返月球的计划。然而,新的总统当选人奥巴马组建的过渡团队目前正重新审核这些计划,包括能否将航天飞机的服役期限延至2010年之后等。

如果航天飞机的服役期延长,那么所有这些展览招投标将被取消。

 


美三架航天飞机“退役”后将展览: http://insuns.com/article/18219-1.html