NASA has put out an RFI gauging interest in the sale of the three current Space Shuttle orbiters to museums and schools with an asking price of $US42 million—$US6 million shipping and handling included!
NASA has never sold its de-commisioned vehicles to museums before, but when times are tough, you do what you have to do, and these Shuttle successors aren't going to build themselves now are they? And since this is only a request for information gauging interest, it may not happen at all. But the Smithsonian Air & Space museum has obviously already called one of the three—Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour—and will get it whether it has to pay or not one would think.
The shuttles will not be disassembled—delivery is only via 747 piggyback. And for those hoping to re-enact the fateful scene from Space Camp—sorry, no main engines are included. The whole sale will go sour, though, should the Shuttle program be continued beyond its current 2010 retirement date, something that is now currently being discussed. [AP, Physorg]