For sale: NASA slashes price on used space shuttles

Looking to sell a few used vehicles, space agency drops price to $28.8M

Looking to buy a new vehicle at a bargain price?

Well, if you're interested in orbiting the Earth or buying the world's most expensive lawn ornament, NASA may just have a deal for you.

The space agency announced late last week it has dropped the sale price of a used space shuttle from $42 million to the bargain-basement price of $28.8 million. With NASA moving to retire the space shuttle fleet this fall, the agency is looking to move a few shuttles and bring in some much-needed cash.

The space shuttle Discovery, which has gone on missions to bring supplies to the International Space Station, as well as to install a new backbone and solar arrays on the orbiting station, will be put on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.

NASA said in an online statement that the $28.8 million price tag will include the cost of transporting the shuttle from its home at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to any major airport.

The agency will be accepting offers from U.S. academic institutions, federal agencies or municipalities until Feb. 19. Space shuttles Endeavour, which took astronauts on a mission to install a Japanese module on the space station, and Atlantis , which was used to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope last year, will be ready to moved to their new homes in July of 2011.

The Enterprise, which never was launched into space, also will be for sale.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, send e-mail to sgaudin@computerworld.com or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed .

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