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NASA to 'Part Out' Shuttle to Museums and Schools

September 17, 2009 — NASA is inviting eligible educational institutions, museums, and other organizations to begin registering to view and claim potential space shuttle artifacts. The artifacts represent significant human spaceflight technologies, processes, and accomplishments of the shuttle program. The artifacts are free, and only a few hundred items will be initially available.

NASA says that eventually thousands of other items will be added periodically until all artifacts have been made available. After a 90-day request period, entities like museums and schools that have requested the item will be notified if they have been awarded the artifact. Museum and school officials must first be determined as eligible through an online registration process or through the State Agency for Surplus Property in their state.

In December 2008, NASA sent out inquiries to institutions who may be interested in displaying a retired Shuttle or its main engines.  EAA’s Vice President of Membership Adam Smith says the organization is not pursuing a retired Shuttle for display at the EAA Museum owing to the enormous costs, estimated at over $40 million.  However, EAA is actively working on the idea of seeing an Orbiter (on the back of a Boeing 747) stop through EAA AirVenture on its way to one of the final selected sites.

More information about the types of artifacts that may be available is included in a brochure, “Space Shuttle Program Artifacts.”

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