Former space shuttle facilities now up for sale
NASA recently started the liquidation of all the former Space Shuttle program assets located at the Kennedy Space Center. While anyone may bid on the assets, NASA is hoping more private space agencies will move in.
The U.S. Space Shuttle program has come to a close, and the remaining shuttles are now displayed in air and space museums. NASA needs to get rid of all the leftovers, some of which include a 15,000-foot landing strip, a massive launch pad and numerous structures. There are also hundreds of acres of government-owned land that needs to be sold off or leased as well.
The last Space Shuttle completed her mission well over a year ago, and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida has millions of dollars in antiquated machinery, materials, computers and all manner of Space Shuttle paraphernalia that must be sold or disposed of. Furthermore, the numerous buildings sitting on those properties cannot be maintained anymore with the amount of funding allowed for the space agency. Some reports state that in December 2013, NASA will be cut off for any additional funding for the upkeep at ISS.
In a recent story found in the Orlando Sentinel, Joyce Riquelme, who serves as NASA's director of the Kennedy Space Center development and planning, told the paper that NASA had many buildings that simply could not be abandoned or they would ruin quickly due to Florida’s tropical climate. "We have a lot of things in discussion, realizing that these major facilities have been funded by the space-shuttle program,” said Riquelme. "And the facilities out here can't be in an abandoned state for long before they become unusable.”
NASA will keep the procedure in which a company’s bids on any assets will strictly remain confidential. NASA is hoping that the area being sold off will continue to focus on space exploration along with research and development in the private sector.
Boeing was one of the first major companies to jump on the property and will begin using one of the orbiter processing facilities. Boeing is currently working on the CST-100 Space Transport Station. The transport station will have the capability to ferry up to seven astronauts to the International Space Station in the future. Boeing has also partnered with Bigelow Aerospace, which is developing a new type of space station of its own that is made of a new type of space fabric. This space station would be much lighter in weight and it will expand out once it is in orbit.