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One second-hand space shuttle: Yours for $29m

Knock-down price for retired NASA fleet

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NASA has knocked down the price of a used space shuttle to an affordable $28.8m - a considerable saving on the $42m it originally wanted for Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavour.

The agency is accepting enquiries from "any US educational institution, federal agency, state or municipality" interested in getting its hands on a second-hand shuttle once the fleet retires later this year.

Discovery is already promised to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the New York Times reports. The museum currently houses shuttle prototype Enterprise, which could also be put up for sale.

The bargain price represents the estimated cost of "transporting a shuttle from Kennedy Space Center to a major airport, and for displaying it indoors in a climate-controlled building".

Delivery costs may vary according to location, and successful bidders can expect a space shuttle to arrive on their doorsteps in the second half of 2011.

Those without an odd $29m knocking about might like to bid for shuttle main engines, originally going for $400,000 to $800,000 each, but now up for grabs "for the cost of transportation and handling". ®

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