Thursday, December 18, 2008

Because America is so good at pimping her heritage

NASA is talking about taking bids for retired Space Shuttles once the program is over.

Beware: NASA estimates it will cost about $42 million to get each shuttle ready and get it where it needs to go, and the final tab could end up much more.

The estimate includes $6 million to ferry the spaceship atop a modified jumbo jet to the closest major airport. But the price could skyrocket depending on how far the display site is from the airport. Only indoor, climate-controlled displays will be considered.

"Indoor, climate-controlled displays" to me says "shopping malls," assuming that once we are over the current bad patch of financial woe there will still be any retail left in the developed world. I think a Planet Hollywood inside an old Shuttle might do nicely, with crème brulées served on the famous insulating tiles. The craft is already set up with restroom facilities, after all, though an investor would probably have to set up their own wine cellar onboard.

I would hope that the Shuttles remain on US soil, however, rather than ending up in Dubai or Shanghai or something like that. No matter how friendly a country is to ours right now, a thing as big as this might well be set up for the long haul, and we do not need the sight of an angry foreign mob taking out their frustrations on yet another national symbol any time. No, if there is any desecration of American space history to be done, let it be done by Americans themselves, I say.

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