Of the thousands of “Once in a lifetime opportunity” ads you see on television and read in the papers, this one could actually be it. It’s not every day that a person gets a chance to own a Space Shuttle, but NASA is offering that to schools, science museums and “other appropriate organizations.” With the aim of generating funds for future missions, the space agency is willing to sell off Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour once they retire in September 2010.
NASA says the orbiters will not be disassembled for transportation or storage, and will cost $42 million to own. Add another $6 million for ferrying the spaceship atop a modified Boeing 747 to the nearest airport, and the total cost works out to $48 million. But the shuttles will be without engines, so if you’re serious about getting into space, be prepared to shell out another $400,000 to $800,000 for the engines.