An Arlington, Va.-based company has just the thing for space afficionados on your holiday shopping list: One of the largest telescopes ever flown aboard a NASA shuttle.
And if you act fast, you can get the Broad Band X-ray Telescope, which flew aboard Shuttle Columbia in December 1990 and traveled nearly 4 million miles during 144 Earth orbits, for 97% off — $1.2 million as opposed to the approximately $40 million NASA spent to develop it.
“The Broad Band X-ray Telescope obtained data of much fainter and more distant targets than previously capable,” says Dr. Samuel Durrance, a NASA crewmember who worked with the telescope. “It deserves a good home within a museum or private collection where it can be appreciated for its role in furthering our understanding of the universe.”
CollectSPACE.com announced the sale of the telescope, which was involved in 157 observations of 82 sources, including the brightest supernova in nearly 400 years, yesterday.
Measuring 14 feet and weighing 1,500 pounds, it probably won’t fit in many gift boxes. Those with smaller spaces or budgets might therefore opt for one of the company’s other pieces of space memorabilia, such as a Gemini training unit, Charles “Pete” Conrad’s coveralls or Apollo mission fragments.