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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Science

Phil Keating

Miami, FL

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NASA to Give Away Artifacts From Space

November 24, 2009 - 12:47 PM | by: Phil Keating

Astronaut spacesuits.  A piece of the space shuttle’s leading wing edge.  Even the NASA version of Tang.

Yes, it’s all available, as NASA prepares to give away everything from the Space Shuttle program that it won’t be using for the future Constellation program.  And there are thousands of space-centric items.

But before you start envisioning a space helmet on your mantle, these artifacts are not for private citizens.  NASA Visitors Centers, museums and state-sanctioned educational institutions are those that can apply.  All of the artifacts are free, however the recipient does have to incur the costs to prepare the artifact, ship it and display it.

And when it comes to a full size shuttle, that is more than $40 million dollars.  The Discovery has already been assigned to go to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.  As for the Atlantis and the Endeavor, it remains to be seen, but Houston’s Johnson Space Center and Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, and the towns nearby, all hope and expect to also get a full-size shuttle for their communities.

NASA hopes all of these artifacts, on display around the country, will help inspire this and future generations of kids to become intrigued with science and engineering.  There are only 5 shuttle launches remaining on the schedule before the fleet is retired.  The last shuttle launch is scheduled for next October, however there is talk that NASA may add another flight or slide the last flight possibly into 2011.  Next Monday, November 30th is the deadline for those hoping to nap a space shuttle program artifact.

The artifacts are viewable online at http://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm#.

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