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  Exhibiting NASA's retired shuttle orbiters (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Exhibiting NASA's retired shuttle orbiters
David Bryant
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posted 04-22-2008 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Bryant   Click Here to Email David Bryant     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has the disposition of the Shuttle fleet been decided upon, after their retirement?

Jay Chladek
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posted 04-22-2008 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nope. I'm sure the Smithsonian are discussing it as they will get the orbiters when they are retired. But as far as NASA is concerned, it won't be an issue until they stop flying.

There have been some theories as to where they might go and a couple people I've talked to at NASM have even said that if they get a flown orbiter, Enterprise will likely go somewhere else.

ColinBurgess
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posted 06-11-2008 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
Enterprise will likely go somewhere else.
I am hearing a VERY strong rumour that the original flight deck of the Enterprise is being installed at the San Diego Air & Space Museum as we speak... and an official announcement will be made next week.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-13-2008 10:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the subject of retired orbiters, OV-098 Pathfinder, on display at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, is undergoing repairs.

The Huntsville Times: Shuttle mockup undergoes repairs

The nearly full-size space shuttle mockup at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is undergoing repairs after part of the floor section near the nose separated from the body of Pathfinder this month.

Space Center CEO Larry Capps said during Wednesday's meeting of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission that it was discovered last week that the "belly pan" on the mockup had dropped from a mounting bracket one night and was resting on the external fuel tank.

The damaged area has been cleaned up and will be restored using better materials, he said.

The NASA contractors doing the work "determined that the rest of the shuttle is in good shape, structurally," Capps said.

The steel model was built at Marshall Space Flight Center in 1977 to test moving procedures, cranes and other aspects of the spacecraft's design, according to NASA. It was used at Marshall and Kennedy Space Center in Florida, then sat in storage until a group of Japanese businessmen offered to spend $1 million to modify it to look more like a real shuttle for display at a space exposition in Tokyo in 1983-84.

Pathfinder was later returned to Marshall and became a centerpiece display at the Space Center.

Much of the front part of the shuttle model is plywood and fiberglass added for the Tokyo exposition, said Space Center spokesman Al Whitaker. Rain apparently got in and corroded the flooring, allowing the section under the nose to fall.

FFrench
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posted 06-13-2008 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ColinBurgess:
I am hearing a VERY strong rumour that the original flight deck of the Enterprise is being installed at the San Diego Air & Space Museum as we speak... and an official announcement will be made next week.
And you'd be right - here is an online video ad showing the Enterprise - opening to the public on the 21st June!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-18-2008 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
H.R. 6063, which was passed by the House of Representatives on June 18, includes the following:
SEC. 612. DISPOSITION OF SHUTTLE-RELATED ASSETS.

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall provide a plan to Congress for the disposition of the remaining Space Shuttle orbiters and other Space Shuttle program-related hardware and facilities after the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet. The plan shall include a process by which educational institutions and science museums and other appropriate organizations may acquire, through loan or disposal by the Federal Government, Space Shuttle program-related hardware. The Administrator shall not dispose of any Space Shuttle-related hardware prior to the completion of the plan.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-11-2008 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA Notice via SpaceRef.com
National Environmental Policy Act: Disposition of Space Shuttle Program's Real and Personal Property

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and NASA policy and procedures (14 CFR Part 1216, Subpart 1216.3), NASA has made a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to the disposition of the Space Shuttle Program's (SSP's) real and personal property using a structured process consisting of a coordinated series of actions. Under Presidential direction, NASA will cease operations of its SSP by 2010. A number of assets will be dispositioned during the transition and retirement (T&R) activities. NASA proposes to implement a structured process for the disposition of the SSP real and personal property consisting of a coordinated series of actions. SSP T&R activities would include potential retirement, transfer, and disposal of property. SSP property disposition activities would extend for several years beyond 2010. On January 14, 2004, President George W. Bush presented his Vision for U.S. Space Exploration (hereinafter ``the Vision'') to the nation. Congress expressly endorsed the President's exploration initiative and provided additional direction for the initiative in the NASA Authorization Act of 2005. In announcing the Vision, the President directed NASA to use the Space Shuttle to fulfill its obligation to complete assembly of the International Space Station and then retire the Space Shuttle by 2010. Under Presidential direction, NASA will cease operations of its SSP activities at all locations, including Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida; Johnson Space Center (JSC), Ellington Field (EF), and El Paso Forward Operating Location (EPFOL), Texas; Stennis Space Center (SSC), Mississippi; Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF), Louisiana; Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Alabama; White Sands Test Facility (WSTF), New Mexico; Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) and Palmdale (Air Force Plant 42, Site 1), California; and the associated contractor facilities. The cessation of SSP operations will necessitate the disposition of all program-related assets. Public comments received on the Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) during the public review period conducted from February 27, 2008, through March 28, 2008, are provided along with responses in Appendix E of the Final PEA.

DATES: July 11, 2008.

ADDRESSES: The Final PEA may be reviewed at the following location:

  1. NASA Headquarters, Library, Room 1J20, 300 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20546-0001 (202-358-0168).

    It also may be examined at the following locations by contacting the pertinent Freedom of Information Act Office:

  2. NASA, George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812 (256-544-1837); and

  3. NASA, John F. Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899 (321-867-2745). Hard copies of the Final PEA also may be viewed at other NASA Centers (see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below). Limited hard copies of the Final PEA are available, on a first request basis, by contacting Donna L. Holland at the address or telephone number indicated herein. The Final PEA will be available for viewing online.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: General: Ms. Monica Vest, Government Community Relations Dept., NASA MSFC, CS30, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812, Phone: (256) 544-5560, mail: Monica.M.Vest@nasa.gov. Technical: Ms. Donna L. Holland, Environmental Engineering Office, NASA MSFC, AS10, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812, Phone: (256) 544-7201, e-mail: Donna.L.Holland@nasa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NASA has reviewed the Final PEA prepared for the disposition of the SSP's real and personal property and has determined that it represents an accurate and adequate analysis of the scope and level of associated environmental impacts. The Final PEA is hereby incorporated by reference in this FONSI. Under NASA's Proposed Action, SSP transition and property disposal activities would be expected to occur at the following NASA sites:

  • Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California.
  • George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama.
  • John F. Kennedy Space Center, Brevard County, Florida.
  • John C. Stennis Space Center, Hancock County, Mississippi.
  • Johnson Space Center El Paso Forward Operating Location, El Paso, Texas.
  • Johnson Space Center Ellington Field, Houston, Texas.
  • Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility (and the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range), Las Cruces, New Mexico.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.
  • Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia.
  • Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Palmdale Air Force Plant 42, Site 1, Palmdale, California.
The Final PEA may be viewed at the following NASA locations by contacting the pertinent Freedom of Information Act Office in writing or by telephoning:
  1. NASA, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (650-604- 3273);
  2. NASA, Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA 93523 (661- 276-2704);
  3. NASA, Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, Cleveland, OH 44135 (1-866-404-3642);
  4. NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (301- 286-4721);
  5. NASA, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 (228-688-2118);
  6. NASA, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058 (281- 483-8612);
  7. NASA, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681 (757-864- 2497);
  8. NASA, Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, LA 70189 (504- 257-2629); and
  9. NASA, White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM 88004 (505-524- 5024).

    In addition the Final PEA may be examined at:

  10. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Visitors Lobby, Building 249, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109.
Alternatives that were evaluated include the: (1) No-Action Alternative; and (2) the Proposed Action Alternative. Under the No- Action Alternative, NASA would not implement the proposed comprehensive and coordinated effort to disposition SSP property under a structured and centralized SSP process. Instead, the disposition of SSP property would occur on a Center-by-Center and item-by-item basis in the normal course of NASA's ongoing facility and program management. Under the Proposed Action (which is also NASA's Preferred Alternative), NASA would conduct disposition actions for real and personal property using a structured process consisting of a coordinated series of actions in accordance with 41 CFR, Chapter 101, "Federal Property Management Regulations;" Subchapter H, "Utilization and Disposal;" Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 45; 48 CFR Part 45, "Government Property"; and NASA FAR Supplement Part 1845, 48 CFR 1845, "Government Property".

When the SSP disposes of or transfers real or personal property, the responsible NASA Center will evaluate the property using Federal and NASA property management regulations and guidance.

The notice of availability of the Draft PEA was published in the Federal Register on February 28, 2008. Notice also was published in local newspapers serving communities near NASA Centers and installations primarily involved in SSP. NASA received 20 comments on the Draft PEA. Environmental concerns were expressed in the context of general interest and support, historic and cultural property disposition, and natural resource management. These comments are addressed in the Final PEA, and were considered along with responses in reaching NASA's decision.

The analyses of environmental impacts due to activities associated with the disposition of shuttle property revealed minimal to no impact on environmental resources with the exception of the effect on historical resources. The impact to historic resources was found to be moderate, but adverse. The moderate impact is due to the potential for demolition or modification of buildings that will no longer be needed after the retirement of the SSP. NASA believes that the ultimate impact will be moderate because, before any final decision is made about demolishing or modifying any facility, NASA will conduct an appropriate level of environmental and cultural resource analysis. If any such properties are listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, NASA will take no action that would affect any such property until the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 process is complete.

On the basis of the evaluations documented in the SSP T&R Final PEA, the environmental impacts associated with the proposed action would not individually or cumulatively have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. An Environmental Impact Statement need not and will not be prepared, and NASA is issuing this Finding of No Significant Impact.

Mr Meek
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posted 07-13-2008 08:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
On the subject of retired orbiters, OV-098 Pathfinder, on display at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, is undergoing repairs.
Looks like they're doing some other refurb work on the plywood nose section. Here's some shots from my visit yesterday:

Closing in

Sanding. Notice the roughened state of the nose. It wasn't like this in February. I can only assume it's part of the work in progress.

Note the NASA logo on the crane.

kr4mula
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posted 07-17-2008 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One sort-of update: I saw a public briefing recently about the Air Force Museum's future plans. While admitting no plans are set in stone, they seemed to regard it almost as a foregone conclusion that they will get an orbiter when their new space hanger is completed. Fund raising for that hanger is well underway, so it seems likely that it will be built. They also seemed to think Atlantis was the one most likely to get sent to the Air Force.

canyon42
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posted 07-17-2008 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The AF Museum works for me--having an orbiter only 20 minutes from my house wouldn't be too hateful!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-08-2008 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dayton Business Journal: Museum vies for NASA shuttle, space exhibit
Though the three remaining NASA shuttles are slated for space travel until 2010, an effort is quietly underway to house one of them post-retirement at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The museum, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is currently in fundraising mode to stockpile $40 million toward the construction of a new hangar for a space exhibit. The museum has identified the exhibit as its most important priority, and the U.S. Air Force has made a formal request to NASA for one of the three shuttles for display at the museum.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-17-2008 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Request for Information on Space Shuttle Orbiter and Space Shuttle Main Engine Placement

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) to obtain input from educational institutions, science museums, and other appropriate organizations about the community’s ability to acquire and publicly display the Space Shuttle Orbiters and Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) after conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program.

The RFI seeks input from educational institutions, science museums, and other appropriate organizations with experience in public display of space hardware and nationally-recognized historical artifacts. NASA will use information gained from this RFI to develop strategies for eventual placement of two Space Shuttle Orbiters and a minimum of six unassembled SSME display engine “kits.”

NASA’s primary goal of this effort is to collect a wide variety of perspectives on whether eligible recipient organizations are capable of appropriately displaying the Space Shuttle Orbiters and SSMEs and bearing the full cost of preparing the hardware for display and transportation to its final destination. The RFI also seeks ideas on how these assets can best be used in the broad national interest to inspire the American public and students in particular. Organizations interested in responding to the RFI must provide their input to NASA within 90 days.

Download RFI on Orbiter and SSME Placement

dwmzmm
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posted 12-17-2008 06:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dwmzmm   Click Here to Email dwmzmm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The big stages of the Saturn V that are on display at Rocket Park were brought in via barges near JSC (via Clear Lake). Wouldn't it be practical to haul in one of the shuttles on a barge in the same manner? The Orbiters can be transported by other means instead of on top of a 747.

Dave, NAR # 21853 SR., Team # 040
Challenger 498 Section NAR Advisor

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-17-2008 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA will not require the chosen shuttle recipients to pay for a ferry flight if one is not necessary, according to Mike Curie, spokesman for the agency. For example, if the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex desired an orbiter (as they have stated in the past they do), they would only need to pay the estimated $36.2 million required for the safing and preparation of the vehicle.

With regards to Johnson Space Center, it may be that the leg-span of the Kemah bridge (which was not in place at the time of the Saturn V's arrival) could present an obstacle to a shuttle-faring barge.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 12-17-2008 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If JSC remains in contention I hope consideration includes how an orbiter would fare during a major hurricane strike on Houston.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-17-2008 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA seeks shuttle suitors: Museums may need to cover the costs for retired orbiters
Museums interested in exhibiting NASA's space shuttle orbiters after they're retired in 2010 may need to meet certain requirements set by the space agency on Wednesday, including the ability to underwrite upwards of $40 million in shipping and handling charges.

..."The National Air and Space Museum has been offered the space shuttle Discovery and has to pay the estimated $42 million," stated Curie.

dwmzmm
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posted 12-17-2008 09:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dwmzmm   Click Here to Email dwmzmm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
With regards to Johnson Space Center, it may be that the leg-span of the Kemah bridge (which was not in place at the time of the Saturn V's arrival) could present an obstacle to a shuttle-faring barge.
Are you saying the leg-span of the Kemah bridge isn't wide enough for the Shuttle's wing span or the width of the barge? I'd forgotten about the Kemah bridge when I made the previous post; didn't know it wasn't present in the mid-1970's when the Saturn stages were brought in.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-17-2008 09:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't measured the span myself, but during a separate discussion on the same topic, someone cited that as a concern.

btguest
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posted 12-17-2008 10:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for btguest   Click Here to Email btguest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How about the delivery fee if it included the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft? For a long time, I've thought that it would be neat if you could display the shuttle at the various museums in various contexts...i.e., one piggyback on one of the 747s (would require a big, but not unheard-of, hangar), one as a launch stack w/ SRBs/ET (is it even feasible to erect that configuration for long periods of time?), one with cargo bay doors open with a representative payload, etc. These are probably pie-in-the-sky kind of exhibits and would be too "aggressive" (for lack of a better word) for those old conservative conservators and curators. But it would certainly get the points across in educating the public.

Then again, I think that one of the shuttles should be "surgically" cut in half longitudinally to reveal the inner workings of the crew cabin, payload bay, and empannage. Also, one half would go to one musem, and another half would go to another. But that idea is probably too King Solomon-esque.

As a final point, is there any speculation in the cS community concerning any major shuttle components/end items (aside from the aforementioned shuttles themselves and their SSMEs) that should be on display? EMU? Space toilet? Extra OMS pod (I read somewhere that the have some spares)? Having seen a number of Apollo items on display in conjunction with the actual spacecraft would enrich the learning experience. Thoughts?

ea757grrl
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posted 12-18-2008 07:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by btguest:
How about the delivery fee if it included the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft?
That would be an impressive exhibit indeed, but I could see that turning an already-expensive exhibit into something *very* costly and, potentially, a curatorial nightmare. You go from having to display one large, complicated vehicle to displaying a large, complicated vehicle on top of an even larger, complicated vehicle. There's also an added maintenance headache, since you're not only preserving a fragile space vehicle but also a huge, complicated passenger aircraft as well.

I also wonder if NASA will want to dispose of the 747 SCAs. There's the possibility they may be reassigned or put to work for flight tests. Alternately, they could be sold to other operators. They may be chronologically old, but they've been cared for very well and don't have as many cycles on them as other 747s of their vintage.

Mr Meek
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posted 12-18-2008 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Smithsonian, of all the possible future shuttle homes, has the best chance to come up with that kind of money. While this move seems prohibitive, I think it's a smart way for NASA to limit the market (and therefore the demand) for a shuttle.

Of course, there's the possibility that NASA could be storing Atlantis and Endeavour for a while. Does NASA have any plans for the OPFs post-shuttle that would be curtailed by two of them being occupied? What, if any, of the permanent safing operations (described in the article as the responsibility of the exhibitor) would have to be done after a couple of years of storage in the OPF?

kr4mula
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posted 12-18-2008 12:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone know if it has been standard for NASA to charge a recipient museum for this type of preparation and moving before? I wonder if NASA would consider letting a museum like the USAF Museum here in Dayton do its own restoration-for-display. Places like it and the NASM have plenty of experience doing so with rockets and spacecraft in addition to airplanes. It might be a more feasible way than paying NASA to do the work. We all know how cost effective they are.

I can't imagine there would be many places (if any!) besides NASM that could foot this bill for an orbiter. In addition to the $40+ million to prep and transport the shuttle, pretty much any museum is going to have to build a new structure to house it, so tack on several more million dollars. Given the current financial crunch, I doubt too many multi-million-dollar donors are going to be crawling out of the woodwork. Maybe in another 10 years when these things are actually retired and ready for museums things will be different.

TRS
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posted 12-18-2008 02:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRS   Click Here to Email TRS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Register: NASA will give away old Shuttles for free
NASA has announced plans for disposal of the Space Shuttle fleet and spare main engines. The space agency intends to donate one orbiter to the Smithsonian museum, and give the others to "educational institutions, science museums, and other appropriate organizations".

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posted 12-18-2008 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kr4mula:
Anyone know if it has been standard for NASA to charge a recipient museum for this type of preparation and moving before? I wonder if NASA would consider letting a museum like the USAF Museum here in Dayton do its own restoration-for-display.
The process for safeing the orbiter I would guess is outside the core competencies of NASM and the USAF museum staff... aside from that its probably more cost effective for NASA to accomplish this since it requires specific GSE and facilities which are already in the agencies inventory.

Mr Meek
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posted 12-18-2008 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One more little thing I noticed. Any idea why Columbia was included in fig. 1 (page 8) of the RFI?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-18-2008 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As Scott noted and as NASA confirmed in our article, the bulk of the charges are for safing the orbiter:
"It is really not selling the orbiter, it is the preparation," said NASA spokesman Michael Curie in an interview with collectSPACE, explaining that $28.2 million goes toward "safing" the orbiter, "which is primarily, removing all the hypergolic fuel systems and other environmental hazards from the shuttle..."
Curie went on to explain that the agency cannot legally provide the vehicle until such environmental hazards are removed, though the true extent of that work is not yet known (of specific concern are the softgoods that surrounded the hypergolic systems that are contaminated to various degrees and could off-gas over time).

The museums who receive the shuttles would likely need to spend more money above and beyond the $42 million to ready the orbiters for display and perform whatever restoration they desire.

Both the Smithsonian and NASA believe that in the past, the Smithsonian has not incurred expenses related to the vehicles until they were on-property. Delivery and preparation of the vehicles was covered by the space agency. However, both acknowledge that we now live in different times and that the economies of providing or accepting such services have changed.

Part of the rational of issuing an RFI now, at least three years before receipt of the orbiter, is to give potential recipients the time to identify and acquire the necessary funding.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-18-2008 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr Meek:
Any idea why Columbia was included in fig. 1 (page 8) of the RFI?
I am fairly certain that the diagram is one that NASA had in its files, rather than one being created specifically for the RFI.

OV-105
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posted 12-18-2008 05:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I am not going to buy one without the SSME's.That is like getting a race car with no engine.

MCroft04
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posted 12-18-2008 09:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Buzz Aldrin relayed at dinner at KSC on Nov 8 that he'd rather place the 3 orbiters in orbit to be re-visited. But he acknowledged that they would eventually come down which would be problematic.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-18-2008 10:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The museums that earlier expressed interest in displaying an orbiter are starting to respond to media inquires regarding their position now that they know the cost.
  • According to KSCW-TV in Wichita, the Kansas Cosmosphere won't get one of NASA's shuttles up for grabs, but the space museum could get one of the engine kits.
    Board members will meet Tuesday to discuss whether to write up a proposal for the parts.
  • The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Ohio intends to "push hard" for an orbiter, reports the Dayton Daily News.
    The museum's supporters have raised $14 million of the $42 million needed to construct a building there that could house a shuttle, museum officials have said.
In addition, the Smithsonian confirmed to collectSPACE that NASA does not expect them to reply to the request for information, as the space agency is already aware of the Institution's interest and is reserving an orbiter (Discovery) for the National Air and Space Museum.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-19-2008 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama also seems to be out of the running, according to The Huntsville Times.
"We don't have that kind of money and to be able to do that kind of fundraising effort in this economy is unrealistic," Al Whitaker, spokesman for the Space Center, said Thursday.

After all, it took the center nearly 5 years to raise about $22 million to refurbish its Saturn V rocket and build the new Davidson Center for Space Exploration, $20 million less than what NASA wants for a shuttle, Whitaker said.

Mr Meek
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posted 12-19-2008 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was expecting that. It's disappointing, but not surprising.

To be honest, I'd rather they focus their efforts on things like Skylab, the Davidson Center Archives Addition, and restoration of some of the outdoor exhibits.

thump
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posted 12-19-2008 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for thump   Click Here to Email thump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This raises a question, with NASM targeted to receive Discovery, I presume they will part ways with Enterprise. Would the receipient of Enterprise be responsible for $42 million, or just the cost to ferry, since no safing of Enterprise would be needed?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-19-2008 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to the Smithsonian, the museum that receives Enterprise on loan would incur a much lower cost than those receiving orbiters from NASA.

At the least, I would expect the $5.8 million charge associated with the ferry flight, the off-loading crane operation and the preparation of the shuttle carrier aircraft.

kr4mula
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posted 12-19-2008 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The museum's supporters have raised $14 million of the $42 million needed to construct a building there that could house a shuttle, museum officials have said.
It was this sort of combined cost that I was referring to earlier. They've got to raise a total of $84 million to get a shuttle? That's a little nutty and very unfortunate. I certainly think (though I'm biased) that the USAF Museum should have one of these and it seems fine to expect that whoever wants a shuttle would provide a suitable place to house and maintain it, but to throw the whole cost of prepping and transporting it on top of that? With Dayton being even more depressed than average these days, I'm not sure how many corporate sponsors or wealthy individuals are going to lay down a chunk of change like this. It's too bad. Would NASA even guarantee that such an institution would be the permanent home for it, not subject to removal excepting negligence or something? Maybe the RFI will show that no one can afford this price tag and NASA will have to reevaluate. Afterall, if NASA has to store or dispose of the shuttles themselves, won't it have to eat those costs anyway? Why not just charge for the costs above and beyond what NASA is going to have to do to the shuttles when they're retired, regardless of where they end up?

328KF
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posted 12-19-2008 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe we should move this discussion over to the Buy/Sell/Trade forum

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-19-2008 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kr4mula:
Why not just charge for the costs above and beyond what NASA is going to have to do to the shuttles when they're retired, regardless of where they end up?
Unless I misunderstand your question, that is exactly what NASA is doing. The space agency isn't selling the orbiter to the museum, they are donating it, but they don't have the money to spend on preparing and transferring the vehicle, and they want to make sure that the orbiter is treated with the care it deserves by its new owner.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force chose to raise funds to build a gallery that can house much more than just the shuttle, which is presumably a significantly higher price tag than a dedicated shuttle facility.

As to sources for funding, in the last year or so, Boeing has gifted at least $16 million to museums and public displays. Surely, given the company's (and its acquired companies') history, Boeing can find $50 million over the next three years to fund a shuttle display.

And Boeing is just one company with a vested interest in the space shuttle program. There are others, which either alone or together, could act similarly.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 12-19-2008 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Its an interesting question - even if the orbiters were not destined for a museum and had to be scrapped, safeing to some degree would be required. I dont know what the delta is between the two options but it does seem that NASA is looking to offload costs they might otherwise have had to incur to the receiving institution.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-19-2008 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the results of the RFI are that no museums can raise or provide the funding, then I suspect NASA will still donate the orbiters, but it will need to divert the funds from another program or project. NASA is trying to avoid taking the $150 million hit by dividing the cost among the three recipients -- two of which stand to benefit financially from the addition of an orbiter to their collection.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-20-2008 12:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Science Museum in South Kensington, London -- in the United Kingdom -- plans to bid for space shuttle Endeavour, reports The Daily Mail.
And the museum has already revealed plans to raise #30m to add the iconic object to its Exploring Space gallery - set up to inspire young people and budding scientists and engineers.

The Endeavour Orbiter already has a connection to Britain, being named after Captain James Cook's ship.

The NASA request for information establishes:
Organizations responding to this RFI must be: 1) a U.S. museum, institution, or organization dedicated to education or educational outreach, including NASA Visitor Centers; 2) a U.S. Federal agency, State, Commonwealth, or U.S. possession or any municipal corporation or political subdivision thereof; or 3) the District of Columbia.
NASA's stated purpose for requiring the organizations be from the U.S. is "to inspire the American public," however the RFI also cites the U.S. State Department.
It should be noted that the organizations that ultimately receive a Space Shuttle Orbiter or SSME hardware must abide by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) restrictions placed on the items. The Orbiters and SSMEs fall under the purview of the U.S. Munitions List (USML), as defined in the ITAR (22 CFR120-130) and are export controlled.


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