New York, January 19 -- Space agency NASA has reduced the price of used space shuttles Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis from $42 million to $28.8 million. The shuttles will be available for sale from Feb. 19, 2010.
The cost includes transportation from Kennedy Space Center to any major airport.
Prototype shuttle Enterprise, which never made it to space, will also be up for grabs.
The space agency said it was accepting enquiries from "any US educational institution, federal agency, state or municipality" interested in getting the second-hand shuttles. Till now, more than 20 institutions have expressed desire for the same.
“We’re confident that we’ll get other takers,” said Mike Curie, an agency spokesman.
NASA has achieved extraordinary achievements from the shuttles since their inception; launching the Hubble Telescope and building the International Space Station (ISS) with their help.
Shuttles available after flying days
The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, which houses Space Shuttle Discovery, is also home to shuttle Enterprise.
The shuttles will be put to sale after their flying days end this fall. Space shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour will be ready for customers by July 2011.
All potential customers are to give in their requests by Feb. 19, 2010.
NASA, who advertised the space shuttles in December 2008 as well, says assembly of all the shuttles will be required after sale.
The Constellation program
The agency’s latest program, called Constellation, aims to send astronauts to the moon and Mars. The project costs $10 billion and is expected to start by 2015.
Constellation, which is a difficult and expensive program, has been highly criticized by the Congress.
NASA, which has been criticized by the government for using private companies to ferry astronauts, has to take initiatives now to stick to government-manned ventures.