Saturday, May 19, 2012
A figurative “for rent” sign hangs on the front gate of John F. Kennedy Space Center.
Among the facilities available: A space shuttle launchpad, slightly used; a giant crawler for moving rockets, still servicable; two enormous mobile launch platforms; two space shuttle maintenance hangars; a 15,000-foot concrete runway, one of the world’s longest; and the blocky, 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building, with four soaring rocket assembly bays — and no waiting.
“I have a lot of facilities that we, NASA, no longer need,” said Robert Cabana, Kennedy’s director and a four-time space shuttle flier. “I don’t have the money to maintain them, I don’t have the money to tear them down. They’re just going to sit and rot.”
That is, unless NASA can find some tenants.