Feeds

NASA busts booster booster

Confiscates BLOODY BIG rocket after Web sale

Top three mobile application threats

An RL-10 rocket booster – the kind that just lifted the Martian Space Laboratory on its trip to the Red Planet – has been confiscated by NASA after being offered for sale on the Internet.

New Scientist says NASA’s Office of Inspector General has revealed the confiscation in its semi-annual report.

The Pratt and Whitney engine is reportedly worth around $US200,000, and while NASA’s happy to sell off some surplus kit to the public, it doesn’t like the deep secrets of its launch technology ending up in private hands. The engine, NASA says, is covered by International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

NASA doesn’t identify either the individual who is now out of pocket for buying the rocket, nor the auction site the rocket was sold through.

“The owner advised investigators that he purchased the engine from an individual who had received it from an unknown NASA employee,” the NASA report states.

While the RL-10 is still in use, the engine that escaped into the wild was built in the 1960s. Back then, it was the first to be powered by liquid hydrogen and pumped out 15,000 pounds of thrust. Now, as then, it’s used as the motor for the Centaur second stage rocket.

New Scientist says space kit collector Robert Pearlman identified the booster as having appeared on eBay in 2010. ®

RL-10A rocket engine

Batteries not included ... a modern Pratt and Whitney RL-10

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Dragon capsule arrives at space station for Easter Sunday delivery
SpaceX reports Falcon booster made controlled touchdown in ocean
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.