Saturday, September 30, 2023

Another batch of NASA space artifacts available to museums

Shuttle Training Aircraft And Full-Scale Shuttle Mockup Explorer Available

WASHINGTON, DC /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The final space shuttle landing July 21 opened new prospects for eligible education institutions, museums and other organizations to receive a piece of spaceflight history. As of Monday, Aug. 15, the eighth batch of artifacts from NASA’s space programs is available on a website that NASA and the General Services Administration (GSA) developed.

The artifacts are not only from the shuttle era, but also from the Apollo, Mercury, Hubble Space Telescope programs. The items include: 

  • the full-scale space shuttle orbiter mockup Explorer, currently on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida
  • the Scott Carpenter Space Analog Station, an underwater habitat, currently at Johnson Space Center in Houston
  • parts of Apollo and shuttle era spacesuits

Each artifact will be available for 42 days. For the first 21 days, internal organizations such as NASA visitor centers, agency exhibit managers and the Smithsonian Institution may request artifacts. External organizations, including museums, schools, universities, libraries, and planetariums may request artifacts during the following 21 days. After the screening period and completion of the request process, organizations will be notified about the status of their application.

Artifacts are incrementally released when NASA no longer needs them, in accordance with export control laws and regulations. They are provided free of charge, but requesting organizations must pay for shipping and any special handling costs.

To date, approximately 29,000 items of historic significance have been offered, mainly from the shuttle, with contributions from the Hubble, Apollo, Mercury, Gemini, and International Space Station programs. Approximately 3,000 artifacts have been requested. The remainder will be considered for federal and state reuse and then offered to the general public for sale.

For information about NASA’s space shuttle transition and artifacts, visit:

In addition to artifacts, NASA also is offering, for donation and possible sale, a Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) through another GSA hosted web-based site:

The STA is a modified Gulfstream II that allowed pilots to simulate orbiter landings under controlled conditions. Other STAs will be displayed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Dryden Flight Research Center in California, and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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