If there were to be an advertisement from NASA for this initiative, it would read as follows: “NASA’s Bargain Basement – Get your artifacts now! For a limited time only, “Crazy Charlie Bolden” is slashing prices at NASA for artifacts from historic space missions!! Act within the next 90 days and pay only shipping!!!”
If you thought obtaining the old Shuttles was cheap, qualified museums, educational institutions and other organizations are able to request over 2,500 artifacts from current and past NASA programs that include the space shuttle, Hubble Space Telescope, Apollo, Mercury and Gemini, all for the cost of shipping and processing.
Unfortunately for space enthusiasts looking to get in on the liquidation, a prescreening registration program will allow only those U.S. institutions that qualify to view and request the items. But, if you are part of one of these qualifying entities, act now, as each artifact is only available for viewing and requests for 90 days, starting last Tuesday, January 19th.
In all seriousness, this is a wonderful opportunity for educational organizations like museums and schools to acquire historic items from human spaceflight programs. The artifacts will include astronaut suits and suit-mockups, some shuttle assembly pieces, and scale models of the various space vehicles used in historic space missions. Any organizations wishing to request artifacts can go to the General Services Administration site that NASA has set up for the program.
After the requests have been processed, each organization will be notified of the status of their request. All items will be provided by NASA as donation, and the organizations receiving the artifacts will only be responsible for shipping and processing, which will vary with the size and type of artifact. Obviously, if you request a spacesuit, the shipping will be far less than for a piece of hardware that was used on one of the shuttles.
This is the second “clearance sale” that NASA has initiated recently. 913 artifacts were screened from October 1st to November 30th of last year, and NASA donated all 913 artifacts to various organizations after that program.
Source: NASA press release