How to Steal a Space Shuttle

by Jason Major on October 6, 2012

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For two days, from October 12 to 13, the shuttle Endeavour will be transported along 12 miles of road on the final leg of its journey to the California Science Center. During that time the orbiter will be the most publicly exposed as it’s ever been, a national treasure on the streets of LA. While this will of course be a well-orchestrated undertaking with the security of not only Endeavour but citizens and spectators being of utmost priority, one might be prompted to speculate: what if someone tried to steal the space shuttle?

And that one, in this instance, was Jalopnik.com‘s Jason Torchinsky. In his latest article, Jason describes in detail a method for snatching a spaceship — and a rather dramatic one at that, worthy of a Bondian supervillian (and requiring a similarly cinematic amount of funds.) However nefarious, fictitious, and unlikely, it’s nevertheless intriguing.

Now while we don’t encourage the theft of a space shuttle (or any federal property, for that matter) it’s a fun read… check it out.

Just keep an eye out for any suspicious Swiss skulking along Endeavour’s route…

(Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

About 

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

Artume October 6, 2012 at 7:13 PM

The first few stages sound like an Alex Rider: Eagle Strike plot that I read a long while ago…

Paul Gracey October 7, 2012 at 1:07 AM

For the cost of organizing and supplying this improbable if amusing plot the museum could perhaps be induced build its own replica secretly, indistinguishable from the real one using skills still available locally. A win-win in that museums everywhere need lots of money. The display plans are for a full-up shuttle, boosters and fuel tank, mostly as mock-up already. One mock-up shuttle built at the nearby Culver City studios could be slipped into place on that night move past the 405, and one un-useable stolen spaceship gone to the highest bidder’s private collection.
Of course, like the plot described, it would require more planning and time to organize than was ever available in the time frame since the route from LAX to the California Science Center became known.

Steve Eagleson October 7, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Not much happening in space, eh?

ITSRUF October 7, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Driving through LA automatically raises concerns about theft — amazing…
Why is LA getting a Shuttle anyway?
Smithsonian, the Cape, Houston, Wright-Patt, and Huntsville, but LA???

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